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Green Team


Sustainable New Jersey Chairperson: Jessica Barnes (PV & JK)

Club Advisors: Vanessa Ferrara (PV); Jessica Barnes (JK) 

Club Assistant: Brooke Frischman (PV); Arielle Weinstein (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 2023-2024 school year were to promote the use of the garden to grow our own food for the cafeteria and the community 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. 

In addition to the garden project, both Parkview and Joyce Kilmer’s Green Teams worked weekly from April to June in the gardens and grew fruits and vegetables for the school cafeteria for the 2024-2025 school year. 

The meeting dates took place, in Joyce Kilmer School, Wednesdays on March 13th, 20th, 27th April 10th, 17th, 24th; May 1st, 15th, 22nd, 29th;June 5th and 12th. As long as it was not raining, the Joyce Kilmer group tended to the gardens starting after spring break on April 10th. Previous to working in the gardens to prep the beds for the plants, the students organised the plants they would like, specific to how well they would help each other grown, which is called companion planting. The students planned the beds according to what plants would encourage growth from the plants near them. Marigold are always wonderful plants to have in a garden as they draw in insects, like ladybugs, lacewings, hoverflies, that help keep an organic pest control from harmful insects such as aphids.

The goal for the 2024-2025 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: Ms. Weinstein! Ms. Weinstein worked hard with the students in the garden and helped guide the students with their garden plans. Mrs. Weinstein kept the sprouts watered twice daily. The 6th grade science teacher, Mr. McMahon, conducted a Botony Buffet with his students in the garden.

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, potatoes, beans, tomatoes, fennel,  cilantro, zucchini, squash, cucumbers, eggplants, and peas.


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School Health Improvement Plan


The district School Wellness Council conducted a CDC self-assessment using their School Health Index (SHI), and developed a 3-year School Health Improvement Plan for Joyce Kilmer and Parkview Schools. The plan focuses on areas of both staff and student health and wellness. The full plan can be viewed at the link below in the provided links.

This year’s focus for the Wellness Council was to incorporate more wellness incentives for the students as well as the faculty and staff. This year, the Wellness Council started something new; a Wellness Newsletter which shared the benefits offered to teachers and made suggestions on how to improve their physical and mental health so they can better help their students.As a result the schools’ SHI scores improved about 25 points for the Staff Wellness module!


School Garden Curriculum



Green Club 2024-2025



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, 


“How to Plant & Grow Zucchini.” Miracle, Miracle-Gro 72 68, 15 May 2020,