Picture: workshops at the Green Schoolyard
Alliance Conference at Sherman - fall 2008
Welcome back Sharks!
I'm sure you've all grown like weeds (attempt at garden humor)! First a hearty thanks to everyone who helped water the garden over the summer. Everything looks great and has remained healthy despite our third year of drought.
Over the summer we made some progress on several long term projects:
Irrigation system - We installed some area's of the yard and will organize another work day or two to complete this project this Fall. Thanks to SF Beautiful for their grant which made this possible.
Solar Education Center - We finalized drawings thanks to Karyn Shore. We are awaiting approval at the state level before we proceed with any building. Keep your fingers crossed. Thanks to PG&E for grant money that has helped get us off the ground on this project.
California Fertilizer Foundation - A huge thanks to the CFF who have granted us $1500 to start our composting program. You may remember that last summer we installed worm bins (via grant money from the Mayors Office of Community Development) and have been seeking additional funding to actually start the composting program. We expect to break ground on this during the Fall. Thanks to Susan Stroman for successfully pushing this grant application forward!
Please feel free to join us at our Green Schoolyard Committee meetings the first Thursday of each month at 8am in the volunteer room. We will discuss this year's goals and events. Hope to see you there!
Regan Mahoney Chair, Green Schoolyard Committee
Join the Green Schoolyard Project Yahoo Group
We have a Yahoo Group for Sherman Green Schoolyard
business. This group is the main communications tool
for GSP business -- it allows committee members to join
or leave the committee at their discretion, and have the
option of reading the discussions without cluttering
their email boxes. To join the group, click here: Sherman_Green_Schoolyard.
Documents / images / ... other
items and links of interest will also be posted on the yahoo_groups
History of the Sherman Green Schoolyard
a part of a school bond, which passed in
November 2003, $2 million in funding was included for a
new program, “Green Schoolyards,” which provided
significant funding to replace asphalt in San Francisco
schools with more natural outdoor environments.
Since then Sherman's Franklin Street Yard has surpassed
the original vision of the bond. We have a living
and growing green schoolyard that provides our students
with both learning and playing opportunities. Our
fantastic Garden Coordinator teaches our classes once a
week about gardening, composting and caring for our
Students have harvested broccoli, lettuce, swiss chard
and lots of herbs and cooked them up in some terrific
and tasty nutrition projects with our Nutrition
Special thanks to Phyllis Matsuno, Clare Watsky, Kent
David and other past and present Green Schoolyard
Committee members (parents, staff, teachers) for all of
their leadership, planning and work that you've done and led to make
our dream a reality!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a “green schoolyard” the same
thing as a school garden?
A green schoolyard is a special kind of school
garden, one that is designed to be both a fun, inviting
place for children to spend time outdoors and an outdoor
teaching space. There are green schoolyards in the
cities in the United States, Canada and Europe.
What can children learn in a
A green schoolyard can offer children hands-on
opportunities to learn about plants and animals
(biology), the relationship between the seasons and
weather, the sun and the earth (geology/environment),
about the interrelationships between living things in
the garden (ecology), about how to grow food and flowers
and care for a garden (gardening/horticulture) and about
how to turn things grown in the garden into food
(cooking/nutrition). In addition, the green schoolyard
can be an outdoor learning space for the teaching of
academic subjects, and where children can work on
writing and art projects.
What would I find in a green
Green schoolyards come in many sizes and forms, but
certain features are common: a variety of accessible
paths giving children access to separate, varied spaces
within the schoolyard; a gathering place where an entire
class can work together; seating areas for individuals
and small groups: flower and vegetable gardens;
composting bins; and decorative features such as murals,
mosaics and paving stones that are created by children.
You might also find a sundial, a weather vane and
weather station, a greenhouse, a labyrinth, birdhouses
and bird feeders, and/or a chicken coop or rabbit hutch.
How do green schoolyards help
Green schoolyards are also “green” in the sense of
being created and maintain in a manner that is kind to
the environment: harmful chemicals are not used,
compostable waste from the schoolyard and the school is
converted into safe, natural fertilizer and native
plants that require little additional water are
featured. Garden projects often involve reusing
discarded materials. The removal of asphalt allows
natural rainfall to soak into the soil and nurture
plants and animals instead of becoming stormwater
run-off. And most importantly, the city-dwelling
children who spend time in a green schoolyard learn
about nature and taking care of the environment.
Who maintains the green
The children, teachers, parent and community
volunteers all have roles in maintaining the green
schoolyard. In addition, most schools with green
schoolyards employ a part-time garden teacher or
coordinator to help the teachers design science projects
and to work directly with the children in the garden.
How are green schoolyard
projects in the public schools in San Francisco funded?
Existing projects were funded entirely throughout
PTA funds and private donations. A2003 bond issue
provided some public funding for green schoolyards at 17
public schools that are slated to receive accessibility
upgrades, including Sherman. The balance of initial
construction funds and funds for ongoing support of
green schoolyard programs, must be secured through
individual donations, foundation grants and other
Do other public schools in San
Francisco have some kind of green schoolyard space?
Yes, an increasing number of schools, from the
pre-K/child development center level up to high school,
have some kind of green schoolyard.
How would a green schoolyard
benefit Sherman and its surrounding neighborhood?
When founded, Sherman was a country school set on
rolling pasture land. Today, it still enjoys a lot of
open space compared to other city schools, but all of
the schoolyard areas are graded and paved. Turning some
of this austere expanse of asphalt into a green
schoolyard will make Sherman a more exciting, fun and
interesting place for children to learn and will add
beauty to the neighborhood for the benefit of the whole
For more information and/or to get
involved, please contact
Green Schoolyard Committee Chair, Regan Mahoney.
Pictures - Decomposed Granite (DG)
installation...and DG after in our new amphitheatre!
Additional Links of Interest...
Green Schoolyard Alliance
All Hands in the Dirt