Children’s Garden Enhancements, 2022
We are excited to showcase recent enhancements to the Children’s Learning Garden. Grant funding from the William Gundry Broughton Charitable Private Foundation has allowed us to install fencing around the new Children’s Learning Garden space and to add a Gazebo for classes, meetings and a place to relax in the heat of the day. Friend’s of the Greenhouses would like to thank the city for their assistance with the site preparation for the Gazebo.
Children’s Garden, 2021 – 2024
For the past few years there has been a growing interest in improving the learning opportunities for children at the Sustainable Living Center in Central Park. After the Master Plan was redrawn, CCE staff, Friends of the Greenhouse, and members of the community met to discuss the details of a design for a Children’s Garden, which would include a Story Walk, Labyrinth, Raised Beds, Playhouse/Market Area, Play Kitchen Area, Gazebo, Fairy Garden, Bird Garden and Reading Nook, and Pollinator Pathway Garden.
After many planning sessions, and with financial support from grants, Phase I work began in the spring of 2021. First steps included expanding the fenced-in area, removing blacktop, designing and installing the pollinator garden and laying out raised beds. Native trees were planted in October, contributed by National Grid in conjunction with Schenectady Soil and Water Conservation District; planted species include Elm, Birch, Amelanchier and Witch Hazel.
The Pollinator Pathway is designed to provide critical habitat for birds, pollinators, butterflies and other beneficial insects, provide a therapeutic space for children and their families, and develop environmental stewardship by teaching children about the needs and contributions of pollinators to our crops and gardens. Plants in the pollinator garden bloom throughout the season, from early spring to late fall, providing nectar for pollinators, shelter, and places to lay their eggs.
Plants in the pollinator garden include annuals, bulbs for spring bloom and a number of native NY perennial plants. Important plants in the garden include early blooming perennials such as Sage, Prairie Smoke, Columbine, Trumpet Vine, Beardtongue, Golden Alexander, Hyacinth, Crocus and Allium. Mid-summer perennial blooms feature various Milkweeds, Purple Coneflower, and various Monardas, along with many annuals and herbs. Fall blooming perennials which will fuel pollinators for their migration include various grasses, Sunflowers, Sedum, Liatris, Cardinal Flower, Phlox, Goldenrod, Aster and Black-eyed Susan. By delaying cleanup in the garden until spring, the plants will also provide winter shelter for many of the insects.
As the garden is put to bed this fall, planners look forward to next steps in the spring including placing pollinator houses and chalk boards along the fence, creating a “puddling area” (a shallow area with a bottom layer of sand or small stones where pollinators can sip mineralized water), and adding pollinator-attracting annual plants to the garden.
CCE, SC will again offer the popular ‘Little Diggers’ program in Spring of 2022 in this new area for preschoolers (age 3-5). For more information on this program visit the Cornell Cooperative Extension Schenectady County website.
Funding for our garden projects was provided by generous grants from the William Gundry Broughton Foundation, and The Carlillian Foundation. Working with The Friends of the Greenhouse, Inc., to accomplish our goals in the Children’s Learning Garden were the following partners:
CCE, Schenectady County
City of Schenectady
Mary Moore Wallinger, LAndArt Studios
Master Gardeners of Schenectady County
Schenectady Water and Soil Conservation District
Union College student volunteers
Click here to view the Children’s Garden Master Plan.
- Pollinator Garden
- Raised Garden Beds
- Playhouse/Farm Stand
- Children’s Garden Entrance
- Fence Art with Chalk Flowers
- Picnic Tables for Activities
- Tree Plantings for Pollinators and Native birds
- New Fencing
- Play Kitchen Area
- Bird Garden and Reading Nook
- Living Room – Willows or Beans
- Story Walk Stations
- Fairy Garden
- Composting Toilet Facility
- Labyrinth and Sensory Garden
- Schenectady & Me Bench
- Sculpture Garden
- Painted Theme Crosswalks
- Sink and Graywater Filter
- Water Play and Seasonal Demonstrations
Brickhouse Renovation Project, 2019
Master Gardener On-Site Office Upgrades, 2019
Native Garden, September 2017
Fence Project, September 2017
The removal of the badly damaged fencing and the installation of 630 feet of new 6 foot chain link fencing along the two backsides of the Sustainable Living Center and Central Park Greenhouses have been completed. This long awaited project coordinated by the Friends of the Greenhouse will greatly improve the safety and security of the facility. Funding for this project was made possible through a grant from The Carlilian Foundation. We also appreciate the assistance from the City of Schenectady for the removal of trees and debris along the fenced area. The trenched area dug by the City will soon be lined with weed paper and filled with stone to reduce weed growth along the new fencing.
Greenhouse Repairs, Spring 2017
Spring of 2017 saw the completion of the installation of 5 new vent motors and the weather guard sensor system in the greenhouses. This project has greatly improved the air flow circulation and response to weather conditions in the 3 greenhouses. This spring the Master Gardeners, the Roots and Wisdom program and Cornell Cooperative Extension Schenectady County were able to utilize all 3 greenhouses to full capacity for each of their educational programs and activities.
A special thanks to the following businesses and individuals who made this project possible: Berkshire Bank Foundation, CCESC Master Gardeners, Stewart’s Shops, Rotary Club of Schenectady, Price Chopper Golub Foundation and Nancy Nicholas and Ralph Blackwood.
Education Building Improvements, November 2016
Several parishioners including Father Jerry from the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Glenville participating in the First Annual Immaculate Conception Service Day helped us paint the classroom. The fresh coat of paint really brightened and improved the overall appearance this room which is used on a regular basis by Cornell Cooperative Extension Schenectady County for many of their educational programs, activities and meetings.
This spring funding from a prior Wright Family Foundation grant was used to replace and install new doors and windows and repair damaged subflooring in the classroom. We are extremely grateful to Harbrook Fine Windows, Doors &Hardware for their generous donation of a Marvin Integrity Two Wide Double Hung Window Unit. This project has greatly improved the lighting and air flow in the classroom. New flooring will be installed later this fall.
Union College’s Annual Community Experience Pre-Orientation, September 2016
In September 2016, 20 incoming first year students and 4 student leaders assisted the Friends of the Greenhouse with a number of projects which included the painting of the picnic tables and the classroom porch deck, and major clean up and organization of the Master Gardeners/Roots and Wisdom Potting Shed.
Replacing Greenhouse Glass, June 2015
Working in partnership with the City of Schenectady, FOGH was able to coordinate the replacement of over 30 glass panels in the greenhouses that were missing, cracked or broken and help with heating costs.
This has allowed Cornell Cooperative Extension, Schenectady County (CCE, SC) to utilize the greenhouses for growing plants and vegetables used in the Master Gardeners educational programs and the Roots and Wisdom’s Harvest Share Program.