Sustainable New Jersey Chairperson: Jessica Barnes (PV & JK))
Club Advisors: Brooke Frischman (PV); Jessica Barnes (JK)
Club Assistant: Tim McMahon (JK)
Sustainable New Jersey
The Milltown Public Schools have joined a certification program called Sustainable New Jersey. In this program the Parkview and Joyce Kilmer Schools work to become more environmentally friendly. This program includes, but is not limited to: reducing waste, creating healthier habits and a healthy school environment while educating our future leaders in the matters of sustainability.
Our goals for the 2022-2023 school year were to promote the use of the garden to grow our own food for the cafeteria, recycling, composting, and promoting mental and physical wellness for the school community. After researching these sustainable topics the Parkview and Joyce Kilmer Wellness Councils created plans to improve health and wellness, as well as communication between the school and the community. This year’s focus for the Wellness Council was to find safe walking and biking routes to school. The results of the community survey was summerized and presented to the Board of Education on April 24, 2023 at 7:00 PM.
In addition to the garden project, both Parkview and Joyce Kilmer’s Green Teams worked bi-weekly from April to June in the gardens and grew fruits and vegetables for the school cafeteria for the 2023-2024 school year. The meeting dates took place on April 19th and 26th; May 3rd, 10th, and 17th; and June 7th.
The goal for the 2023-2024 school year in both Joyce Kilmer and Parkview is to create a healthier school environment with a focus on air quality in and out of the buildings. In addition we are focusing on strengthening our reduce of food by composting.
We are looking to create a safer and more sustainable environment every year!
This year the Joyce Kilmer Green Team would like to welcome back Mrs. Barnes, the Green Club Advisor, and introduct the new Joyce Kilmer Green Club Assistant: Mr. McMahon! Mr. McMahon conducted a Botony Buffet with his students in the garden along with assisting with the after school program. In addition, Joyce Kilmer would like to thank volunteer and neighbor, Barbara Wright, for helping in the garden! Mrs. Wright brought some plants and helped the Green Team landscape the garden to attract pollinators.
Joyce Kilmer and Parkview School kicked off their Green Team in mid April. During this time, both Green Teams prepped the garden for seedlings and small plants, completed mini lessons on the importance of strategic planting, and the health benefits of the various plants being planted in the garden. The middle school science classes utilized the gardens to observe the ecosystem and plant various plants along with the Green Club. This year, Joyce Kilmer and Parkview planted pesticide free marigolds, cabbage, carrots, corn, basil, broccoli, spinach, beans, tomatoes, fennel, cilantro, zucchini, and peas.
Green Club 2022-2023
This growing season’s plants are well on their way of being fantastic sources of food! We are not yet ready to harvest in June but we should be ready to harvest during the summer. More information on this summer's Green Club will be posted in Parent Square for any student who would like to join.
If you are interested in starting your own home garden, it is not too late. Creating a welcoming environment in the backyard or a sunlit room creates a sense of satisfaction and is a great educational hobby that relieves stress.
For the fruits listed below, all you need is soil, a plant appropriate location that fulfills its sun requirements, water, and possibly a plant cage or pole for support. Here are some tips for growing some New Jersey’s local favorite fruits during the summer months:
Tomatoes - these plants enjoy a lot of sunlight with a bit of water. It may be best to have a cage surround this topheavy plant.
Cucumbers - these plants love a lot of sun, water, and warm weather. They fare best in the late spring and early summer. These plants enjoy climbing so if you have a cage, that would be perfect for them.
Green beans - if you are growing pole beans, be sure to have a tellis, netting, or other supplies that will give it support as it grows a whopping eight to ten feet tall. According to Savvy Gardening, sow seeds 1 inch deep and 3 inches apart for trellised pole beans, eventually thinning to 6 inches. If you are looking for a modest plant, try the bush bean. Sow the seeds of bush beans 1 inch deep and 2 inches apart in rows 18 to 24 inches apart.
Zucchini - these plants like to be planted about 3 to 4 inches apart in a location that receives full sun and has rich soil, according to Miracle-Gro. Water this plant constantly and it will give you plenty of fruit. For a teepee, use poles at least 7 feet tall and plant six to eight seeds around the base of each pole.
For more information on starting your own garden, please view the materials and resources below along with recommended gardening TikTok content creators.
Jabbour, Niki. “Growing Green Beans: In Garden Beds and Containers.” Savvy Gardening, 27 Sept. 2019, savvygardening.com/growing-green-beans/.
“How to Plant & Grow Zucchini.” Miracle, Miracle-Gro 72 68, 15 May 2020, www.miraclegro.com/en-us/library/edible-gardening/how-plant-grow-zucchini.
Mendham Garden Centers. “Anyone Can Garden with These 5 Easy-to-Grow Vegetables.” Mendham Garden Center, 16 Apr. 2018, www.mendhamgardencenter.com/blog/easy-to-grow-vegetables-garden-supply-new-jersey/.
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