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Schools

New garden takes root at Egan Jr. High

Photo Courtesy Of Vicki Moore

Three local Eagle Scouts led an effort to convert a turf area to an educational garden at Egan Junior High School in Los Altos.

A new educational garden is nearing completion at Egan Junior High School.

What was previously a turf area has been transformed to a multiuse garden composed of a history garden area that includes four L-shaped planter boxes, two grape arbors and a bird bath; six planter boxes for science class and student use; a mini-orchard; and a native plant garden. The native plant garden is scheduled to be planted with nearly 200 California native plants Saturday that will be used for science lessons including the study of plant adaptations.

The Living Classroom Program – which offers garden-based, hands-on science, social studies and math lessons in the Los Altos School District – provides many of the lessons. The privately funded program started three years ago and has provided nearly 500 lessons in grades K-7 during the previous school year to 100 classes.

Three Eagle Scouts installed the Egan garden as their Eagle Scout project. Gaku Ogawa is a sophomore and Michael Walter a senior at Mountain View High School; Reed Hawkins is a senior at St. Francis High School

The Egan PTA, assisted by a rebate from the Santa Clara Valley Water District for the removal of the water-thirsty lawn and its replacement with drought tolerant plants, funded the project.

“We are thrilled to have this beautiful garden right here on campus for all the students and teachers to enjoy,” said Curtis Schneider, seventh- grade science teacher at Egan. “This garden enables a host of experiential and observational lessons that use real living things as integral to the learning process. … This is something that is often missing in our educational system today.”

Volunteer planting is scheduled 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Egan. The school is located at 100 W. Portola Ave.

Volunteers should bring shovels and work gloves.

To RSVP, email Curtis Schneider at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Eagle Scouts were busy with projects at other Living Classroom gardens: adding new signage, fencing and pathways at Oak School; 12 new planter boxes at Covington School; new fencing at Loyola School; and six new planter boxes at Gardner Bullis School.

The Living Classroom has scheduled two informational sessions for community members that will explain the program and the role of volunteers: 9 a.m. Tuesday in the Covington School Multipurpose Room, 205 Covington Road; and 9 a.m. Sept. 7 in Springer School Multipurpose Room, 1120 Rose Ave., Mountain View.

Docent training sessions are scheduled 9-11:30 a.m. eight consecutive Mondays beginning Sept. 12 in the District Offices, located at Covington School, 205 Covington Road.

Prospective docents do not need to attend all of the training sessions.

For more information on the docent training sessions, call Mike Sanderson at 947-1103, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit www.lasdschools.org and select The Living Classroom in the What’s New column on the right side.

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