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.