ABOUT: The Roxbury Community Legacy Garden (RCLG) Committee is a collective of experts, volunteers, and neighbors dedicated to nurturing green areas in the Town of Roxbury where the children of Booth Free School and the greater community can have sustained, meaningful, and ecologically responsible and supportive interactions with the living world. These spaces are maintained to provide environments for observation, exploration, contemplation, imagination, and hands-on learning. The activities facilitated in these living classrooms foster understanding of and enduring passion for the natural world. Our hope is that students and residents of all ages may contribute to a thriving community and enhanced quality of life.
A true legacy for generations to come.
This effort is 100% powered by volunteers. If you are interested in participating in any part of the RCLG from planting, watering, harvesting to sharing your nature or gardening expertise to donating time, materials, or funds, please send a message to [email protected].
For the latest information about the Roxbury Community Legacy Garden, visit the Facebook page.
2019 – Expanding, Learning, and Growing—In the second year of the garden revival, the BFS PTO continued to champion the use of the community garden in collaboration with other Roxbury community groups. Minor Memorial Library kicked off 2019 with science, bird, and nature programs for children ages preschool through Grade 5, including summer programs in the garden, while BFS PTO sponsored a three-part, school-wide science and nature enrichment program in April that utilized the garden as an outdoor classroom. The program was led by the Bent of the River Audubon Center and focused on birds, healthy habitats (including our garden), and the Roxbury community’s role in the Shepaug Forest Block Important Bird Area.
And thanks to a $450 grant from Audubon Connecticut, the BFS PTO further enhanced the Roxbury Community Legacy Garden plantings with native plants. The project began in the spring with the removal of an invasive grass species from around the perimeter of the garden (thanks Jason Martinelli from Sunshine Property Management). Jennifer and Wilson (grade 3) Benner then planted and cared for the new native plantings throughout the growing season. A portion of the Audubon funds was also set aside for the purchase of outdoor education toolkits for our students to use to enrich their curriculum-based lessons. The Roxbury Conservation Commission also contributed to the toolkits with the purchase of a portable digital wildlife viewing camera and binoculars in the fall.
The Roxbury-Bridgewater Garden Club also donated plants and visited BFS to help teach the children about growing plants in the garden in the spring, while returning and new family, library, garden club, and community volunteers worked to plant and maintain edibles in the interior garden raised beds. This once unused space has truly evolved into a community garden and outdoor classroom, and we couldn’t be more thrilled that Booth Free School is a part of it!
Thank you to everyone who has helped to continue the community garden revival this year with their muscles, know-how, and contribution of funds and materials, including Audubon Connecticut, Booth Free School PTO, Roxbury Conservation Commission, Roxbury-Bridgewater Garden Club, Minor Memorial Library, Felipe Birk & Sara Brandon (garden coordinating, planting, and care), Jason Martinelli from Sunshine Property Management (excavation), Jennifer & Wilson Benner (garden project coordinating, planting, and care), Estelle Mackenzie & Adrienne Caruso (RB Garden Club-BFS planting activity), Georgette Miller (garden planting), Judy & Dave Balaban (garden weeding and planting), Jessyka Patterson (contacts and coordination), Dillion Excavating & Tree Service (wood chips donation), and Maple Bank and River Bank Farms (seedling donations).
Spring 2018 – A Garden Reborn—On Saturday, May 26, 2018, a small but hearty group met to clean up, turn over, and plant the Roxbury Community Legacy Garden across the street from BFS. We started lettuce, tomato, cucumber, pepper, eggplant, broccoli, squash, and strawberry plants as well as some milkweed to feed the butterflies!
Thank you to Howie Bronson of Maple Bank Farm for donating many of the plants. Thank you to Felipe Birk, Sara Brandon, and Gavin (1st grade); Jessie Grenfell and Fiona (incoming K); Julie Martinelli and Maeson (incoming K) and Mia (pre-K4); Peter Mariano; and Michael and Cara Abraham and Wylden (4th grade) and Darya (1st grade). We are hoping to keep the garden going throughout the growing seasons with the help of children attending library programs and families taking turns when they are in town. See the before and after pictures below. Great work everyone!