Thursday, September 26, 2013

Thank You to the Coasties!

Thank you so very much to the men and women of the Coast Guard who volunteered at the elementary school yesterday, completing gardening projects for us in record time. We are so grateful to them for their help!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

New!! Photo Gallery!

Link on the heading titled "Photo Gallery" to see photos of the Seward Elementary Garden project in progress!!

Thursday, June 6, 2013


Thanks for volunteering to help with this Seward Elementary School native plant garden/park project. For those who have signed up to help please follow this doodle link to confirm your dates and times;
Please also consider bringing the following tools/clothing to maximize your contribution to this community project:
water bottle
work gloves
rain gear
For those volunteering to help with the garden preparations during this week (June 6, 5, & 7), please also consider bringing a;
razor knife
metal rake
if it's easy to bring a wheel barrow or 5 gallon bucket, please do
We will have snacks and on Wednesday & Thursday (6/5 & 6/6) will have lunch.
Thanks again for your very important volunteer contributions!!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Need Volunteers!

After months of planning and waiting for the ground to thaw, we're now seeking volunteers to help build the new Elementary School Native Plant Park.

To volunteer, signup by following this link and complete the short Doodle survey so that we’ll know which days and times that you’re able to help. Please forward this email to anyone who you think would like to help.

Here’s the schedule: the garden prep (for adults and youth over the age15) will be on
June 4th    1:00pm  – 5:00pm
June 5th   10:00am – 9:00pm (with breaks for lunch and dinner)
June 6th   10:00am – 5:00pm
We invite all area youth (and parents) to help with the planting in the afternoons of June 10 to 14.

Please open the attached file for more details.

In addition to the Seward Schools, KPB & School District and the Fish and Wildlife Service; we now have the following new project partners, Seward Community Foundation, Seward Boys and Girls Club and the Seward Teen & Youth Center

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Update in a Letter

May 5, 2013
Hello All,

We had hoped to maximize student involvement by scheduling this fun and exciting project during the last few weeks of the regular school year. But winter's icy grip has prevailed. Both our top soil and wood chip sources are still frozen solid.

With several of our key folks being busy in late May, we've decided to reschedule for early June. All of our early planning will pay off. We have all our plants on order and other key material sources identified. We also have several highly qualified groups lined-up to provide some of the critical manpower. These include this year's Master Gardener students and several folks from the Seward Garden Club.

We will also still be involving dozens of students who will be attending summer school and the June Boys and Girls Club events.

Our new plan is to complete all of the garden prep tasks during the first week of June and then do all of the planting during the second week of June. Stay tuned for details on when to plan on volunteering to help.

This project will transform the front of the Elementary School into a native plant park, complete with new paths, benches, and picnic tables. This project will give Seward students the chance to learn about our native plant species as well as  the wildlife that depend on them, and garden care and maintenance.

Please visit our Seward Schoolyard Habitat blog site to find more details and some of our garden design drawings; .

Thanks for all of your support!!

Matt Gray, PE
Resurrection Bay Conservation Alliance
Watershed Program Coordinator
224-4621 work
224-2753 home

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Dates for Elementary School Planting

Our schedule for replacing the gardens at the elementary school is as follows (but may be subject to change):

  • -- May 4th, non-native species get dug up (contract work using heavy machinery)
  • -- May 11-12th, preparing yard for school-wide planting day
  • -- May 16th - School-wide planting day (grades K-6)

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Successful Public Meeting

By Elly Ray
Seward, Alaska --Matt Gray, of the Resurrection Bay Conservation Alliance, led a community meeting Wednesday night at the High School to share the short- and long-term plans for the Seward Schoolyard Habitat Project. People packed into Carlyn Nichol's science classroom to learn more about the project, filling every seat in the room. After Matt opened the meeting with a brief overview, Heather Fuller, of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, presented a PowerPoint to explain the nuts and bolts of the funding and requirements for such a project. She gave examples of other schools on the Peninsula that are pursuing schoolyard habitats, as well as examples of projects well underway in the Wasilla/Palmer area.

Jenn Haugh, a Kindergarten teacher, explained how teachers will build upon each other's projects across all three school campuses. She also gave examples of how teachers might align the curriculum to the schoolyard habitats and use them as outdoor classrooms, giving teachers fantastic opportunities for place-based education.

Carlyn Nichols, a science teacher at both the middle and high schools, detailed the trail systems that exist around the three schools. She talked about how these should be maintained, enhanced, and connected. She envisions having a trail system that has interpretive signs to help both students and community members get the most out of walks, jogs, or skiis through the old-growth forests. Thinking like a scientist, Carlyn pointed out how lucky we are to have such amazing habitats in our own back yards. Heather Fuller echoed that idea, and added that one of the goals of this project is to make these habitats accessible to everyone.

To present a vision for the native species garden planned for the elementary school, several of Bob Barnwell's students gave a presentation (see below).

Full-color, large and small maps were placed around the room for people to look at as ideas were discussed. For the last 20 minutes of the meeting, people met in small groups to brainstorm more ideas for the schoolyard habitats.