How to Thin Seeds

A few weeks ago, we covered how to plant seeds. No matter how precise you aim to be in planting, it’s likely that your seeds will sprout in little groups. We don’t want to sprouts to be too crowded as they get larger. You want each plant to have enough room to grow big without…

Earth Day & Beyond w GreenThumb

GreenThumb from NYC Parks has moved many of their Spring Workshops to online webinars that you can tune into from home. If you miss the workshops, they’re posting the videos after-the-fact – such as this tutorial from last Monday entitled Starting Seeds from Home.  (Password: Seeds2020) Tomorrow, they’re hosting a series of very special workshops…

Letter to Your Playground

Do you miss your playground and your playground friends? Write a letter! Once of the most persistent memories I have of elementary school is singing the “Friendly Letter Song” in 3rd grade. The tune has stuck in my head for a full 25 years so I won’t link it here, but I’m sure it’s easy…

Working with Native Plants

Planting or re-planting a garden space can feel like a daunting task. We’re here to help, and the good new is that going with nature, planting plants that have grown in the region for centuries, will make make the task easier and less maintenance heavy! Identify Conditions – native plants at the nursery are often…

Playground Visioning Tools

When a playground first opens, we like to gather the stakeholders in the school playground community and get a sense of how the space in already used. What’s already going on and who should we get involved? This Playground Vision Intake Sheet helps gather contacts and map out ways the playground’s already being used so…

Play in Difficult Times

A few notes on the importance of play in difficult times: Play is essential to child development. All you super-parents out there working from home, home-schooling, and/or parenting under stress and isolation can rest easy that simply letting children play at home or (socially-distanced) at a park is contributing to their physical, social, cognitive, and…

How to Plant Seeds

There’s a bit of magical faith in planting a seed. It’s a simple and fairly reliable way to grow a plant, but every time a little stem and those first cotyledons or “seed leaves” push through the soil, I think “Wow! I can’t believe that worked!” If you requested seeds through our Annual Garden Survey,…

The Nature Journal

Is there anything more beautiful than the first almost lime-colored spring green that appears on the willow trees of New York City at the end of March? Playgrounds may be temporarily closed, but we can still take walks outside (with caution, masks, and social distancing), pass street trees and community gardens, and visit our neighborhood…

Trauma-Informed Resilient Schools

Greetings Beautiful School Communities, As we all adjust to our new normal amidst the global coronavirus pandemic, I’d like to share a resource offered by Starr Commonwealth on Trauma-Informed Resilient Schools Teacher Training. This online training is currently being offered free of charge. You can “purchase” it now for free using the coupon code noted,…

P.E. at Home or in a Park

We know that getting exercise can help us focus, reduces stress, and improves our health. The CDC recommends that children and adolescents ages 6 to 17 years do 60 minutes or more of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily. If you’re currently home schooling, here are a few free online resources for getting in P.E. time throughout…