A day camp focuses on a school greenhouse and gardens, while allowing students to participate in the upkeep of an elaborate outdoor facility which is an important part of the school year curriculum.
At Spring Harbor Middle School, the Spring Harbor Greenhouse Gardening day camp is offered by Madison School and Community Recreation. Seventh grade science teacher Dave Ropa thought it would be a good way to manage it at the heart of the growing season when school was not in session, continuing the philosophy on a year round basis of the environmental science magnet school.
“The learning opportunity and the community building opportunity we thought were a good fit,” Ropa said about combining with MSCR. “It’s not just growing things. It’s creating a healthy community.”
The camp has grown in eight years from five or six students to 20 to 25 that are in each weekly session. They learn about bontany and horticulture while working in the gardens and the greenhouse. They start seedlings, harvest vegetables, and are building a chicken coop. They continue to work which is ongoing throughout the school year.