Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Meeting Minutes 6/16/09

Alan Steinman
Joanne (Alan’s Assistant)
Andy Mariotti
Zach Mascetta
Kathy Kendall
Felipe Silveira
Connor Cunningham
Susan Halpin
Will Chang
Leah Walzer

Surveying the Courtyard/Garden Area
  • Thank you to Diane DeSantis’ Math students who have been surveying the courtyard and marking the areas where the planting beds and structures will be located.
  • Thank you also to Ray Belanger’s wood shop students for making the wood stakes used to mark the courtyard areas.
  • Zach, Felipe, Andy, Alan & Joanne spray-painted the outline of the garden areas so we can get a visual of the courtyard/garden plan.
  • Leah and Connor weeded the strawberry and pumpkin patches.

Donating Produce to Northborough Food Pantry
  • Connor, Kathy, Will picked salad greens, strawberries and radishes that were ready to be harvested. These were donated to the Northborough Food Pantry. Almost 3 lbs of salad greens were harvested.

  • Kathy Kendall created the website for the Garden. We hope to have this site linked to main school site. Content is being added and we hope to have this up for viewing very soon. Stay tuned!

Next Meeting Tues. June 23
  • Next Tues there are only make-up exams in the afternoon, however, if there is anyone around, we do need to complete the marking of the garden we started last week. There are many stakes that need to be pounded into the ground.

Garden Maintenance over the Summer
  • If you would like to help with taking care of the garden during the summer, let us know. We can always use hands to help with weeding. Andy Mariotti, Eileen Palmer, Kathy Dalgliesh and Susan Halpin will be taking turns to provide summer maintenance.
  • Over the summer we will save the produce that is harvested that can be used in the Nutrition & Culinary Arts classes. Everything else will be donated to the Food Pantry.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Meeting Minutes 5/31/09

Kathy Kendall
Will Chang
Zach Mascetta
Alan Steinman
Michelle Murphy
Susan Halpin

  • New above ground system with 3 hoses and a timer was installed on Tuesday. The garden is watered each morning at 4AM for a half an hour. Looks like the system is working great. Thank you Ed Whittaker from Underground Concepts in Hopkinton and Alan Steinman.
  • Group finalized the plans from Assabet. They will be building us a 12 foot gazebo without screens, and with 2 interior benches. We also decided to upgrade a few of the materials for the shed to make it easier to maintain.
  • Michelle Murphy presented us with a check for $8,000 from the Murphy Sisters Foundation. She was very pleased to see the garden project underway. She brought a beautiful granite bench, 2 gazing balls (one maroon and the other gold), a garden angel, sundial, and a weather station. This money will help purchase needed materials for gazebo, shed and footbridge.
  • We are working on placing the bench, gazing balls and sundial in an appropriate place in the courtyard. Garden angel is already sitting in one of the raised beds.

Food Pantry
  • Any vegetables harvested during the summer that we cannot use in our Culinary classes will be donated to the Northborough Food Pantry. We will need to discuss how that will work in the summer with our volunteers overseeing the garden each week. Food pantry is open on Wednesday mornings and Thursday evenings.

Alumni Website
  • There is a link to an alumni website off of the main school website. It would be nice to have a link to the Courtyard/Garden project so alumni would be informed about this project. They also may want to donate funds and services.

Grub Control & Fertilizer
  • Now that the courtyard has been mowed on a regular basis, qe were wondering if our facilities department would be able to put some grub control and fertilizer on the grass so it would be more healthy and look nicer,
Garden Maintenance
  • All beds except for the pumpkin patch have been weeded. All beds were fertilized.

Next Meeting
Tuesday, June 9 at 2:05 in E107.
  1. website
  2. Make summer schedule for maintenance
  3. Food Pantry process/schedule
  4. Weed Pumpkin Patch /Harvest radishes/String Peas

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Meeting Minutes 5/24/09

Connor Gillis
Kathryn Kendall
Will Chang
Alan Steinman
Andy Mariotti
Susan Halpin

Murphy Sister’s Foundation

  • The foundation will be donating $8,000 to the Courtyard project. Thanks!!!
  • The following are the items they will also be donating to the garden in addition to our monetary donation: Bench, Angel statue, sundial with inscription "This is the time to be happy and this is the place to be happy" and 2 gazing globes in maroon and gold.
  • Michelle Murphy will be coming to our next Garden Meeting on Tuesday, June 2.

Assabet Valley Carpentry Dept.
  • Changes in sizes and materials for the gazebo and storage shed based on feedback have been given to Wayne Coulson the carpentry instructor at Assabet. He would like us to finalize this project very soon so he can make his educational plans for his sophomore students for the fall.
  • Ed Whittaker and Alan Steinman will be installing a temporary above ground irrigation system that will consist of hoses and timers that will help us greatly during the summer months. This will be installed on Tuesday, June 2.
  • Discussion of a permanent irrigation system ensued. It will be hard and extremely expensive to get a well installed in this area since there is no access to the outside. The town will not approve an underground sprinkler system. We will have to talk to the town about alternatives. However, for right now, the watering needs will be met by what will be installed on Tuesday.

Painting Down the Garden Plan
  • Alan suggested that a Math class or any other class that is willing to take the master landscaping plan and use the scale given to measure areas and actually spray paint the plan onto the grass. It will give all us a visual of where each structure and each patio area will be located. Now is the time to discuss changes in placement of structures, patio areas and gardens.

Work Needed in the Garden
  • Garden beds are in very bad need of weeding. Please let us know if you would like to help with this task.
  • There are also some more seeds that need to be planted -- miniature pumpkins (white and orange).
  • Andy Mariotti used the stakes and string to create a climbing structure for the peas.
  • We already have strawberries and radishes that can be picked.
  • Gardens will need to be fertilized in the next couple of weeks.

Courtyard/Garden Website and Webcam
  • Kathy Kendall has been working on the website. Wording and ideas for pages were discussed. Website should be up soon. She is using Contribute to create the site. This will make it easy for our committee to add information easily.
  • We also discussed using PayPal on the website to assist with making donations on line. Perhaps we should notify alumni, they may be interested in helping with this project.
  • Web cam has been taken down. As soon as time allows, more work on the web cam will happen.

Electronics Recycling Program
  • The CLEAN group is planning to help out with Andy Mariotti and Sue Whalen’s electronics recycling program on June 20th from 8-12 AM. The funds raised are going are going to be given to CLEAN. CLEAN will be donating them to the Courtyard/Garden project. Thanks!

Next Meeting
Tuesday, June 2, 2:05 in E107.

Thank you and good luck to Connor Gillis as he graduates and heads off to study agriculture in New York. Keep in touch Connor!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Meeting Minutes 5/17/09

Dan Bradley
Connor Gillis
Carro Halpin
Alan Steinman
Susan Halpin

  • Dan Bradley is now on board as our “Courtyard Garden Booster”. Dan was one of the original organizers of this project back in 2007. He spearheaded the effort to create a courtyard garden working with the Murphy Sisters Foundation and the landscape architect to develop the plan for the courtyard that we are following. In the capacity of a “Booster” Dan will be in charge of all of the fundraising to help us implement the courtyard/garden plan.

Feedback on Courtyard/Garden Structure Drawings by Assabet Carpentry Dept.
  • We discussed the drawings of proposed structures as drawn by the Assabet Carpentry Department. Drawings look great. We feel very fortunate to have the possibility of this partnership, where we will have to pay for just materials to have structures built. The following are comments given by committee members.
– Instead of plywood subfloor, could we use pressure treated lumber ?
– Instead of wood clapboard siding, can it be cedar?
– Double wood door, could we use a composite material or vinyl?

- Location of gazebo continues to be discussed. On the plan it is in the middle of the courtyard. Not sure if center has room enough, now that the raised bed vegetable gardens are there.
- Can the gazebo be bigger, perhaps 12-15 instead of 9 feet?
- Instead of screens, can it be “open air” with benches on sides for people to sit on?

- If the footbridge were properly placed, it could serve the dual purpose of band stand or it could look lovely with climbing flowers, etc.

Algonquin Acoustic Club
  • Algonquin Acoustic held an Open Mic Jam in the garden on Thursday afternoon. It was a beautiful hot afternoon to listen to some great talent from ARHS and eat ice cream! Thanks to Ms. Hassett and Helene Gu for giving our garden area some good press. It made us all anxious to have this great space developed so we can enjoy more events like this one! Pics from that afternoon will be posted on the website.
  • Thank you to the Lifeskills students for taking over the task for watering the vegetables each weekday.
  • Unfortunately, the sprinklers we purchased are not working out as we had hoped. They are not oscillating and the timers have stopped working. These were returned to Lowe’s and a different kind of sprinkler was purchased, no timers were included with the new sprinklers. The area to be watered is very big now that the pumpkin patch has been planted. Sprinklers need to be moved and turned on and off. This is becoming a chore to do each day. Watering during weekends is also becoming a chore.
  • Next week Ed Whittaker from Underground Concepts will be setting us up with a system of hoses and timers that will not need to be moved and will be automatic each day.

Eagle Scout Candidate Projects
  • Nick Gionnatti from Northborough Boy Scout Troop 101 will be building compost bins and a green house for the garden as his Eagle project.
  • Harry Nicol also from Troop 101 is interested in doing a project for the courtyard.

Meetings/Garden Chores
  • For those who would like to attend garden meetings and would rather work in the garden than sit a meeting, we could really use some help in the garden during this time. The following chores need to be done in the next week.
- Thin out lettuce
- String peas
- Weed all beds
- plant additional vegetables, fennel, onion, carrots
- finish digging out bed with rhubarb and mint

Electronics Recycling Day at ARHS
  • The technology department is going to be holding an electronics recycling day on June 20th. More details will be forth coming.
Classes in the Garden
  • I will be starting to bring my Nutrition & Culinary Arts students out to the garden occasionally to become familiar with what we are growing and help with whatever needs to be done.

Next Meeting
Tuesday, May 26 at 2:05 in E107
Agenda Items
  1. Webcam/Website/Online summer maintenance schedule – We really need to get this up soon, so we can be sure the garden is properly taken care of during the summer.
  2. Next step with Assabet, finalize plans and placement of structures
  3. Fundraising

Friday, May 15, 2009

Meeting Minutes (5/11/09-5/15/09)

Rosanna Giorlandino
Connor Gillis
Felipe Silviera
Susan Halpin

  • Students viewed drawings and quotes for gazebo, storage shed and bridge from Assabet Valley Carpentry Department
  • Since meeting attendance was very low, we did not discuss any other issues
  • Students helped with positioning sprinklers out in garden. We discussed tasks for Friday’s work day.

Drawings and Quotes from Assabet Valley Carpentry Department
  • Thanks to Shirley Lundberg and the Assabet Valley High School Carpentry Department we now have drawings and quotes for materials for the following items to be built as the fall project for the carpentry students. (ARHS will need to purchase only the materials).
Storage Shed
Foot Bridge
  • Thanks to Andy Mariotti we have scanned these documents and they are available for viewing on the following website. http://www.nsboro.k12.ma.us/algonquin/faculty/appliedartsteachers/halpin/halpin.htm
  • In the very near future all of the Courtyard/Garden information will be moved to our new website: http://www.nsboro.k12.ma.us/algonquin/courtyard/Welcome.htm. This website will be specifically for the courtyard/ garden project, however website is still under construction.
  • Please view the scanned documents and provide any feedback to Susan Halpin. We would like to finalize this project with the Assabet Carpentry Department soon.

Fundraiser for Garden – Algonquin Acoustic Open Mic Garden Jam
  • This fundraiser was scheduled to be held out in the courtyard area on Tuesday and then on Thursday of last week. Unfortunately, the unusually rainy week we had prevented this event from happening either day. Hopefully it will be rescheduled soon.

Money/Donations – Very Good Week
  • Charlie Chung from National Honor Society donated $100 to the Vegetable Garden Project – Thanks Charlie!
  • Class of 2008 donated $4,000 to the Courtyard portion of this project. Thanks Grads of 2008!
  • Northborough Garden Club awarded $100 to the Vegetable Garden. Thank you!
  • Gillis Brothers donated all of the plants needed for Friday, May 15 work day – Thanks Connor for coordinating this!
  • Southborough Ed Foundation awarded the Vegetable Garden Project a grant of $3993. This will enable Mrs. Halpin, and Mrs. Connolly to attend the Mass Agriculture in the Classroom Summer Graduate Course where they will gain ideas on curriculum to be developed using the garden. This grant also enables us to purchase wheel barrels, shovels, hand tools and other needed supplies. Supplies also include food preparation and cooking supplies for Mrs. Halpin’s & Mrs. Loughlin’s Foods classes. Thanks SEF!

Tools & Supplies
  • We purchased wheel barrels, shovels, gloves, fertilizer, stakes and hand tools. Bob Wall from Shemin Landscaping Supply allowed to us to purchase quality materials for a discounted price. Tools and supplies were delivered in time to be used for Friday’s work day. Thanks Bob!

Work Day on Friday 5/15 Very Successful!
  • Bud Richardson shared his planting know how and expertise in getting us started with planting the following vegetables and herbs:
  • Twelve students from various clubs such as CLEAN, NHS and Interact helped with the digging and planting. All beds are planted and seem to be thriving.

  • Thanks to help from Alan Steinman and his irrigation specialist we will have an irrigation system set up in the very near future that will enable us to water all of the vegetable/herb beds without moving sprinklers. They will also be set up on 7 day timer system. This will be tremendously helpful during the summer. Staff and faculty members who have volunteered to oversee the watering (Andy Mariotti, Susan Halpin, Eileen Palmer, Kathy Dagliesh, Bud Richardson) will now just have to make sure timers and sprinklers are working properly.

Next Garden Meeting:
Tuesday, May 19, 2:05 in E107
Agenda Items
  1. Work in the Garden – weeding, stringing peas, identification markers for plants, fertilizing
  2. Assabet Quotes/Feedback
  3. website/webcam
  4. summer watering/weeding schedule

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Meeting Minutes 5/5/09

Bud Richardson – Acting Facilities Manager
Andy Mariotti – Network Mananger
Connor Gillis – Student
Alan Steinman – Alan Steinman Landscaping
Rose Giorlandino – NHS
Susan Halpin – Co-Chair
Doris Cahill – Parent

Metrowest Daily News (Sunday Edition) – Very nice article about the 1966 class ring that was lost in our courtyard and found during our workday on 4-4-09. Check it out

Website/Webcam/Summer Watering Schedule:
  • Andy Mariotti with the help of George Clarke has installed. They are experimenting with its functionality. Right now it is facing out on the courtyard and taking still pictures at intervals. This will be a great asset as we show the community the progress in the garden and in the courtyard.
  • Andy showed us how to access the camera and the website template he has developed.
  • Kathy Kendall will work with Mr. Mariotti, and Mrs. Doyle to get the website information created and linked to the school website using a template.
  • A summer watering/weeding schedule needs to be developed at our next meeting. There will be an online schedule located on the new website. Faculty and staff that have volunteered to be on the schedule and oversee the garden for the summer are:
- Andy Mariotti
- Susan Halpin
- Eileen Palmer
  • This would include making sure the timers for the sprinklers are functioning properly and weeding is done. Perhaps each volunteer could be responsible for a one week span, or do one particular day during the week…we will need to clarify this at our next meeting when members of CLEANARHS and NHS volunteers are in attendance.

In School Watering Schedule:
  • Now that we have many vegetables as well as strawberries, raspberries, and rhubarb planted watering each school day is needed. We are talking to the Life Skills classes about taking on this daily task until the school year is finished.

  • We discussed the possibility of having a well as the source of water for an irrigation system. This seems like a very expensive alternative ($5,000-$10,000) given there is no way well digging equipment can access the courtyard. A well would have to be dug outside by the Copy Center room and pipes would need to be brought up the walls and over the roof into the courtyard.
  • Right now there are 4 hydrants in the courtyard from which water is accessible. Different sprinkler heads/and a couple of different zones would be needed because the courtyard sections (vegetable garden, perennial gardens, trees, bushes) all have different needs for irrigation.
  • Bud, Alan and the irrigation specialist will work together to come up with a proposal for the best solution for an irrigation system to fit our varied needs.

  • Since we still have no money budgeted for this project, Alan has offered to drop off 2 wheel barrels and some shovels to use as needed and on the workdays. This equipment will be kept in the courtyard and can stay until we have money to buy what we need.

May 1 Work Day
  • Rose Giorlandino, Connor Gillis and Mrs. Halpin planted strawberries, raspberries and rhubard. Thank you very much for the plant and equipment donations from Doris Cahill, Alan Steinman Landscaping and Gillis Brothers. Plants are doing great.

Next Work Day, May 15:
  • Friday, May 15 from 2-4 we will be thinning the radishes, stringing the peas, and planting a few more vegetables. If we have enough volunteers we can clear a patch of ground for the pumpkin patch too.

Task List
  • Website – Kathy Kendall, Andy Mariotti
  • Email Plant List to Mrs. Cahill – Mrs. Halpin
  • Irrigation Specialist to Site - Alan Steinman, Bud Richardson

Next Courtyard/Garden Meeting:
Tues, May 12, 2pm Room E107

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Meeting Minutes 4/28/09

Mike Gorman – Facilities Mgr.
Bud Richardson - Facilities
Alan Steinman – Owner, Alan Steinman Landscaping
John Barry – Student Council Advisor
Susan Halpin – Garden Committee Co-chair & Teacher
Diane DeSantis – National Honor Society Advisor
Andy Mariotti – Network Manager
Susan Whalen – Technology Specialist
Connor Gillis - Student
Kathryn Kendall– President CLEANARHS
Zach Mascetta – CLEANARHS
Mike Haberman – CLEANARHS
Connor Cunningham – CLEANARHS

Newspaper Story
  • Metrowest Daily News contacted Susan Halpin over the April vacation, they would like to do a story on the 1966 class ring that was found in the garden area. Susan gave them Mary Beth Russo’s (finder of the ring) and Cindy Lund’s (owner of the ring) contact info. Susan also suggested they do a story on the garden and the enthusiastic response of the communities of Northboroough & Southborough…waiting to hear about this.
Funding Possibilities
  • Northborough Garden Club – Grant application submitted.
  • Southborough Garden Club – Spoke to President Penny Healy, Proposal for grant will be brought before the club at their next meeting.
  • Southborough Ed Foundation – Grant application submitted. Meeting with ARHS rep Larry Modestow on 5/4 to clarify any questions members have.
  • Donorschoose.org – placed our project on this website. Donors can look at and choose to fund projects or materials needed for schools.
  • Murphy Sisters Foundation – email letter written, waiting for answer from foundation.

Assabet Valley Vocational High School
  • Shirley Lundberg our co-chair has made a connection with the Director of Technical Programs and the Carpentry Lead Teacher at Assabet. They would like to construct the gazebo, storage shed and bridge as part of their sophomore class carpentry project.
  • They are putting together a proposal that would include the cost of materials to build these structures. Algonquin would need only to purchase the materials, Assabet would provide the labor.

Webcam and Website Construction
  • Kathy Kendall will work with Mr. Mariotti and Mrs. Doyle (school website advisor) to develop a website for our garden project. Purpose of the site will be to show progress of project, how plants are growing, basically PR to the outside world.
  • Andy has purchased a webcam and is working with George Clarke (Video Tech Teacher) to install it and have it used as part of the garden project.

  • With the hot outside temperatures this week it has become essential to have a watering schedule now that we have “crops” growing. (spinach, beets, radishes, snow peas, Swiss Chard, lettuce). Susan Halpin will ask the Life Skills students if they would like to help with this chore for the present.
  • Students installed sprinklers with timers in the garden today. This looks like it will work fine until we decide on a more extensive irrigation system.
  • Kathy Kendall will also ask CLEANARHS group for help with summertime overseeing of the garden. Andy Mariotti, Susan Halpin, Bud Richardson will also help with overseeing the garden during the summer months.
  • Alan Steinman will ask his irrigation specialist to look at our project plans to estimate the amount of money needed for an irrigation system.

Workday on Friday, May 1st
  • Kathy Kendall will let the CLEAN group know. Diane DeSantis will let National Honor Society know. Alan Steinman will provide wheel barrels and shovels for the afternoon.
  • Alan will consult garden plan about best placement for these additional beds.
  • Susan Halpin will ask Gillis Bros, and Bigelowes for rhubarb plants, strawberry and pumpkin plants. Just the rhubarb and strawberries can be planted now.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Meeting Minutes 4/15/09

Mike Gorman – Facilities Mgr.
Alan Steinman – Owner, Alan Steinman Landscaping
John Barry – Student Council Advisor
Dick Walsh
Mike Gorman
Susan Halpin - Teacher
Connor Gillis - Student
Rose Giorlandicco – Student
Kathryn Kendall – student, CLEANARHS,
Zach Mascetta – Student, CLEANARHS
Felipe Silviera – Student, CLEANARHS
Bud Richardson – Facilities
Christine Connolly- AP Environmental Science Teacher
Helen Yong – Writer for “the Reg”

Class Ring Pic
  • Students, Cindy Lund and Dick Walsh
  • Class ring from 1966 found in courtyard, owner identified, ring returned.

  • We are still pursuing this area. Class of 2008 is still a possibility, and Murphy Sisters must be clarified. John Barry and Diane DeSantis will be working with Charles and Ned on this subject.
  • Grant for Southborough Ed Foundation was submitted last week. Funding requested was enough to pay for materials for brick walkway, gazebo, and tuition for summer course for 2 teachers to develop curriculum using the outdoor garden.

Planting the Raised Beds this Friday April 17th. and Friday, May 1 2pm-4pm
  • Ms. Connelly and her AP Environmental Science students (other students who have permission from their 7th period teachers are welcome to join) will be planting the following early season veggies:
  • Connor Gillis will be seeing if we can get these seeds from his family’s garden store.
  • Work day scheduled for Friday, May 1st 2pm-4pm. We will be planting other vegetables/perennials that are early plants.

Spray Painting the Brick Walkway
  • Alan Steinman brought his tools and we mapped out (in orange spray paint) our brick walkway. Students attending the meeting got to see how a landscaper maps and measures out pieces of a master plan. Seeing the walkway mapped out, helps us visualize how significant this walkway is to the overall plan of the courtyard.
  • We are in discussions with Assabet Valley Vocational School to have them build the walkway as part of a course of study for their students. Algonquin will be responsible for the purchase the materials. They just received the master garden plan today.

Next Meeting:
Tuesday, April 21, 2008 -- 2:05PM -- E107

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Meeting Minutes 3/31/09

Charles Gobron – Supt. of Schools
Mike Gorman – Facilities Mgr.
Alan Steinman – Owner, Alan Steinman Landscaping
John Barry – Student Council Advisor
Susan Halpin - Teacher
Connor Gillis - Student
Rose Giorlandicco – Student

  • An account is being set up for this project. Student Council will oversee the account.
  • Various sources of funding are being pursued by Charles and John. Hopefully these sources will be clarified soon and we will have a more definite idea of what we can accomplish in the short term.
  • There is money enough for us to order the lumber and soil for the work days coming up this week.
Addition to our Courtyard/Garden Group
  • Shirley Lundberg has offered her help with this project. She & Susan will be working together to coordinate work, volunteers and community support.
  • Shirley is investigating the possibility of having some of the students involved in the Assabet Valley Regional Vocational Technical School trade classes to help us with this project, for example drafting a revised master garden plan (that includes some of the new ideas like vegetable gardens), also constructing a gazebo and a brick walkway. ARHS would pay for all materials.
Raised Bed Placement:
  • Thanks to the custodians, Alan Steinman and Connor Gillis for marking out where the beds will be placed in this very large area.
  • There are a total of 7 raised beds, (2) are 3 x 14, and (5) are 5 x 14 with a round bed in the center.
Soil Testing
  • We were pleasantly surprised at the quality of the soil that is in the area of the raised beds. The closest area to the building (d corridor side) the soil is very good, the further away the soil gets a little sandier. We will try to match plant variety to the soil type.\
  • Alan & Mike also tested the drainage of this area.

Thursday 4/2 Work Day 2:30pm – 5pm
  • Our hope is to build the boxes during the work day on Thurs if we have enough adult help to supervise. We also will be digging out around the beds so that the lumber can be inserted into the ground. If you are attending the workday, please bring a shovel or 2.
  • Right now we have 12 National Honor Society volunteers as well as volunteers from CLEANARHS, and other interested students.

Saturday, 4/4 Work Day 8AM-Noon
  • Soil and compost are being delivered. We will need each volunteer to bring a wheel barrel to wheel it all from the parking lot, into the building for a short distance and out to the courtyard. Please bring a wheel barrel and shovels with you if you are volunteering.
  • Right now we have 8 NHS volunteers as well as volunteers from CLEANARHS and other interested students.
Corresponding Pictures
can be found here: http://www.nsboro.k12.ma.us/algonquin/courtyard/3-30-4-4.htm

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Meeting Minutes 3/24/09

Doris Cahill – Parent of student Natalie Zelman
Zach Mascetta – student member of CLEANARHS
Will Chang – student member of CLEANARHS
Kathryn Kendall – student member CLEANARHS
Connor Gillis – student
Charles Gobron – Superintendent of Schools
Alan Steinman – Owner Alan Steinman Landscaping
John Shunder – Retired Head of Northborough DPW
Andy Mariotti – Network Manager
Bud Richardson – Facilities Dept.
Eileen Palmer – Teacher
Susan Halpin - Teacher

Community Help:
  • There has been great interest in this garden project from not only within Algonquin but from the Northborough Community as well.
  • Alan Steinman has provided copies of the landscaping architectural plan and has provided consulting services at our meetings.
  • Northborough DPW has offered to deliver compost to fill the raised beds.
  • Northborough Garden Club has our project on their agenda for their 3/26 meeting to discuss how they can help.
  • Northborough Boy Scout Troop 101 has informed interested scouts looking for Eagle projects that there may be several possible projects connected with our courtyard garden project.
  • John Shunder, retired Head of Northborough DPW has volunteered his help.
  • Several parents of students have volunteered their time, plants and gardening expertise.
  • There will need to be some kind of irrigation at least for the vegetable garden portion. In the short term we will depend on hoses and timers. If by chance we have funds or services volunteered we can revisit the idea of an irrigation system at a later date.

  • Charles Gobron and Cheryl Levesque will draw up a budget we can work from. There is money available for the project, they will let us know how much.

Brick Walkway
  • We would like the walkway to be part of phase 1. We atleast need to map this out and finalize placement before too long. Bud estimates that we will need at least 250 feet of brick or pavers. Cost is about $12-15 per foot.

Work Days:
These dates must be approved by administration. But at this point they look like are a good possibility
  • Thursday afternoon April 2 from 2:30-5 we will meet in the courtyard. Goal is to dig holes for raised bed frames and assemble the frames. Susan Halpin, Bud Richardson and Andy Mariotti (more adult help would be very welcome) will be working with student volunteers and any community volunteers to assemble the raised beds to get them ready for the next work day which will be.
  • Saturday morning, April 4 from 8am – Noon we will be filling the raised beds with soil and preparing the courtyard grounds for planting. We may need a rototiller…
  • We will need lots of wheel barrels since we do not have a door directly from the outside to get into the courtyard. Soil and compost will need to be wheeled a short distance inside through the school to get to the courtyard.
Raised Beds for Vegetable and Perennials
  • We will need to determine what kind of soil to order. Ideally a mix of sand, compost and soil from a landscape company would be our best choice. We will need about 20 yards of soil.
  • There will be 10 beds total. 2 beds will be 3ft. x 10ft. 8 beds will be 5ft. x 10 ft. There will be a large round bed in the center for herbs. Measurement not finalized for this. We figured 10ft. x 10ft. for soil estimation amounts.
  • Raised beds ideally should be about 3-4 feet from the building so students can work from each side of the beds and so a mower can mow around them.
  • We will need to determine in the next couple of weeks exactly what plants will be planted in each raised bed. There may be perennials planted with the vegetables. Maybe local landscapers can help with those decisions.
  • Alan suggested since there is plenty of room that we possibly plant some patches of pumpkins, blueberries and strawberries as well.
  • Pressure test for the outdoor spicket needs to be done, so we know how much water we can get out to the area. Andy & Bud will take care of this and report results back to us next week.
  • Environmental Science students have not tested the soil yet, but will be doing it in the next couple of days.

Next Meeting
Tuesday, March 31, 2pm in room E107. We will be going outside to mark where the beds will be located. Alan offered to bring the spray paint. We will need to finalize building supplies to be purchased, amount of soil to order and have delivered and equipment needed for volunteers to use on the workdays.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Meeting Minutes 3/18/09

Meeting Attendees
Alan Steinman – Owner Alan Steinman’s Landscaping
Mike Gorman – Facilities Mgr. Algonquin Regional
Bud Richardson – Custodian Algonquin Regional
John Barry – Student Council Advisor
Diane DeSantis –National Honor Society Advisor
Rosanna Giorlandicco – Student/Art Honor Society
Allison Kenny – Student
Andy Mariotti – Instructional Technology Dept.
Susan Halpin – Nutrition & Culinary Arts Teacher

Irrigation and Utilities in the Area
  • Alan suggested we consider an irrigation system. Especially since this area gets full sun and the summer months are going to have less volunteers working in the garden area than in the spring and fall seasons. He thought that maybe a local contractor would consider volunteering/donating some labor and/or materials to keep the cost down.
  • Right now we can test the water spickett available that’s in the garden area determine how many gallon/minute the output is.
  • Before we start anything we should make sure we know where all the utilities are in the area.

Soil Testing
  • Soil needs to be tested ASAP to see how much top soil will need to be added. Chrissy Connolly will have her Environmental Science class test the soil early next week hopefully. It would be ideal if the soil analysis results were available for the next meeting. Students will be dependent on the weather and time to complete this.
  • Bud suggested that since this area was previously a courtyard before construction that the soil might be OK and not be filled entirely with construction debris.

Marking Up Original Garden Architectural Plan
  • Alan will provide us several more copies of the original landscape plan as it was done by his company several years ago. Members of the committee will mark up the original plan by the next meeting (which will be held Tues 3/24, at 2pm) so that there can be a discussion about what items we definitely want to keep. So far the items we would like to see in the courtyard/garden area that were suggested by the group in attendance are the following:
  • Gazebo – provides shade, place to sit
  • Walkway – Brick or another material that meanders from one end of the courtyard to the other.
  • (8) Raised beds – (2) 3 feet wide by 10 feet long and (6) 5 feet wide by ten feet long,that will be our vegetable garden with a round garden in the center as the herb garden.
  • Large tree with plantings surrounding it, plaques scattered within plantings as memorials for faculty and students who have passed away.
  • Butterfly garden
  • Small deck stage – to be used for small performances (poetry reading or other small performance)
  • Storage Shed
  • Compost area

Creating the Garden in Phases as Money & Man Power are Available
  • Presently we are not sure exactly how much money there is available for this project. Drawing up a revised plan with exactly what we would like in the area is our first step.
  • We decided that we have many student volunteers between National Honor Society, Boy Scouts, Venture Crew, ARHS CLEAN, Life Skills students, and Art Honor Society Students that we need to begin this project this spring. Therefore, forging ahead with breaking ground and assembling the raised beds for the Vegetable Garden, Herb Garden and Perennial Garden will be happening this spring. The raised beds will not be expensive to make. Top soil to fill them will cost money though.
  • Both the Environmental Science classes and Nutrition & Culinary Arts classes are looking forward to using those gardens as part of their curriculum. Both Chrissy Connolly and Susan Halpin are gathering information about a summer graduate course “Growing Agriculture in the Classroom” offered by Fitchburg State College and Mass Agriculture in the Classroom, to provide training for using the garden as a classroom.
  • A tentative work day of Saturday, April 4th was planned. National Honor Society and other volunteers will be notified.
  • Approaching some of the other Applied Arts classes may be a possibility for building a gazebo, storage shed or compost bins.

Action Items
  • Alan Steinman will provide the group with a few more copies of the original architectural plans for us to mark up.
  • Alan will be involved as his time allows. We need other knowledgeable landscapers as well.
  • Susan Halpin will continue to gather community support for this project by contacting other local landscapers, garden clubs and town departments.
  • Diane DeSantis will get the word out to National Honor Society about the work day.
  • All members of the group will be on the lookout for funding sources such as grants, or fundraisers such as selling bricks.

Next Meeting Date
Tuesday, March 24 at 2pm in room E107.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Meeting Minutes 3/10/09

The following are the notes from our first meeting on Tuesday, March 10, 2009 focusing on how use the courtyard space between G, E & D corridors. This meeting was an opportunity for Algonquin only students/groups/faculty to have input on how this outdoor space will be used.

Meeting Attendees:
John Barry
Diane DeSantis
Paul DiDomenico
Chrissy Connolly
Wendy Ascher
Susan Whalen
Andy Mariotti
Chrissy Doucette
Lauren Osepchuck
Bud Richardson
Mike Gorman
Kim Mitchell
Karen Perry
Rosanna Giorlandino
Michelle Sheppard
Susan Halpin

Theme/Use of Courtyard Space

  • After much discussion it was agreed that this courtyard would be used as a quiet, contemplative outdoor space for students and faculty to enjoy. There will be several areas that will be dedicated to specific purposes such as memorials for ARHS faculty and students, a vegetable garden to be used as an outdoor lab for classes, and perennial flower garden.
  • This will not be a space for students to play Frisbee and have athletic games.
  • School groups such as Art Honor Society will be encouraged to contribute and showcase work to enhance the garden theme.
  • The courtyard will be a community effort where members of the Algonquin/Northborough/Southborough community will work with each other to create this space.
  • We will work with the current master plan and change it to fit our budget, needs, and ideas. It is very important that the courtyard space have a cohesive, aesthetic beauty and not be a “hodge podge” of ideas.
  • We will work in phases as money and time permits to add parts to this garden area. A brick walkway through the courtyard joining D & G corridors will be in the first phase. The vegetable & perennial garden consisting of 3foot wide raised beds will also be in the first phase.

Time Frame

  • The brick walkway and raised bed vegetable and perennial gardens will be in phase 1 to begin in the next few weeks. This plan is entirely dependent on money and man power. As we change the master plan to fit our new ideas and needs we will phase in the additional ideas.

School/Community Help

  • ARHS CLEAN group, and National Honor Society has offered their help right away. Life Skills students are willing to take on active rolls in planting and maintenance.
  • Northborough Garden Club, Southborough Garden Club, Northborough Senior Center, and local landscapers will be contacted to see if labor or material donations may be possible.
  • Several members of the Algonquin parent committee have already volunteered plants and time to help us with our project after seeing articles in the Harbinger and APTO Newsletter.
  • Northborough Venture Crew 11 (Co-ed division of the Boy Scouts) has offered their help. Members are Algonquin students as well.

Money & Fund Raising

  • Selling bricks to fund the walkway was suggested.
  • Class gifts from previous graduating classes may be available to help fund our project.
  • Murphy Sisters Foundation may be a funding possibility.

Issues to be Worked Out

  • Taking care of the garden during summer break. Several members of the group that work through the summer have offered their personal time to water and weed.
  • Perhaps an online watering/weeding schedule for the summer will be developed.
  • Organizing some Saturday work days to assemble, fill and plant the raised beds in the next month or 2.

Action Items

  • Susan Halpin will lead the committee to get the raised vegetable and perennial gardens created this spring.
  • Susan Halpin will contact members of the community (Garden clubs, local landscapers) to inquire about help.
  • Susan Halpin will apply for the Southborough Ed Foundation grant.
  • Diane DeSantis has offered help from National Honor Society. Students will have the opportunity to earn their monthly community service hours helping with this project.
  • Bud Richardson will research best materials with which to construct the raised beds.
  • Mike Gorman will work with local landscapers to tweak the current architectural plan to best suit our needs and budget.
  • Mike Gorman will create the budget needed for the ideas presented.
  • All members of the group will be looking for grants and other sources of funding we can apply for.