Garden Project Certifications

Conor O’Sullivan Completes Eagle Scout Service Project at SCS Garden

By John Malouf, SCS Garden Project Scout Coordinator.  Edited by Roslyn Stewart.

Battling  wind, rain, and hail, Eagle Scout candidate Conor O’Sullivan of Boy Scout Troop 754 completed his Eagle Scout service project at the Sycamore Canyon School Garden on the stormy weekend of May 6th.

Conor’s service project was to design and build 12 new redwood benches for the SCS Garden to be used by students during Garden events such as outdoor teaching and cultural events. Also, the project included the refinishing of all the Garden’s existing woodwork including picnic tables, signposts, and the bridge that were constructed as previous Eagle Scout projects.

His project cumulated with a total 270 labor hours that were spent planning, designing, constructing, and refinishing.   Volunteers, who were led by Conor, were Scouts from Troop 754, scout parent volunteers, and friends and family.

Conor was recognized at the SCS Volunteer Tea on May 19th.  He was awarded with a Garden Service certificate and a plaque.  The plaque was mounted on one of the benches that he built, as an appreciation and recognition for his service to the SCS Garden.

Volunteer Tea 2017

By Marivic Marko, Garden Service Awards Manager

2017 has been an incredible year for the garden! Garden programs, such as Culture of the Garden, the Manna Project, Community Gardening Days, and Adopt the Garden sessions, could not be possible without the help and support of parent and community volunteers. We are grateful for all who have come out to the garden to lend a hand, whether it was for 30 minutes or 30 hours! It all would not be possible without you.

The Garden Committee would like to recognize the following volunteers who have contributed 5 or more hours of service to the garden this year. Garden community service awards are received for 5,15, 30, 50 and 100 hours of service. This is a special year, because there is a recipient in every category.

Garden Friend – 5 hours

Alexandrine Lagrave Archana Timmaraju Arlett Torres Athena Fischer Cindy Panza  Crystal Stenner  Himangi Jayakar  Imelda Fuentes  Johanna Duc  Puja Kaushik  Ranjini Ramachander  Rebecca Konopka  Ricky Bordagaray  Stacy Gleason  Tina Mintz  Yali Chen

Garden Family – 15 hours

Alexandrine Lagrave Andrea Feagan Eszter Zubovics Johanna Duc John Malouf Maria Paz Varas Sonceriae Armstrong Tina Mintz

Garden Guardian – 30 hour

Marie Turner Samatha Gummadi

Garden Leader – 50 hours

Marie Turner Subha Tholudur

Garden Hero – 100 hours

Subha Tholudur

Garden Committee Member Marivic Marko Receives PTSA Honorary Service Award!

By Agnes Chang (PTSA VP of Communication) and Jo Louie (Garden Committee Chair)

On Friday, May 19, 2017, Marivic Marko was presented with the PTSA Honorary Service Award for her exemplary service and dedication to our students and school.

Marivic was one of the pioneers who proposed for the idea of our school garden. Since inception of the SCS Garden Project in 2013, Marivic has served in the Garden Committee as the Adopt the Garden Coordinator, as well as the Garden Service Awards Manager.

A charming lady who’s friendliness can only be outshine by her helpfulness , Marivic’s presence and involvement can be seen at every corner of the Garden.  From hosting workshops, planting trees, to tool purchasing, Marivic has given many tireless hours of service, making our Garden and our school a better place for everyone in the community.

In addition to managing the Garden Service Awards program (keeping detailed log of all the service hours provided by every Garden volunteers and providing the service patch awards to their recipients), Marivic heads the Adopt the Garden program, and is instrumental in this program’s growth and success today.  Adopt the Garden now involves every elementary classroom Kindergarten through 5th grade, working with teachers, students and their parents to foster a love for nature, citizenship and environmental stewardship.

Congratulations to Marivic on her well-deserved achievement and recognition!


Mr. Hoyle’s Helpers

By: Marivic Marko, Adopt the Garden Coordinator, & Roslyn Stewart

Throughout the school year, once each month, Mr. Hoyle and his class worked to maintain the garden by weeding, sweeping, watering, trimming, and cleaning up litter. This committment to community service not only helped to make the Sycamore Canyon School Garden thrive, but also helped to make contributions from the Edible Lab to the Manna Project possible. The students became garden veterans, confident in their abilities to properly care for the garden, and enjoying the rewards of seeing the plants, animals and insects thriving and co-existing.  The students demonstrated many of the Character Keys that we value – Respect, Responsibility, and Citizenship.  At the end of their last garden maintenance session, Mr. Hoyle honored each student by presenting them with their 5 hour Garden Friend award. Several students who had worked in the garden since first grade  were honored for 10 hours of garden service. We are very proud of this special group for their contributions!

Mr. Hoyle’s class also spent one morning a month enjoying the garden during an academic project. Way to Go Mr. Hoyle and class!

K-Kids Club In Action!

By Luke Voegler, 5th Grade K-Kids Club Member

Recently our 5th grade K-Kids club was invited to clean the garden at Sycamore Canyon School. We meet once per month to perform community work with our sponsor, the Kiwanis Club, and 4th grade teacher Mrs. Baron under the supervision of Mrs. Young. Mr. John Malouf, SCS Garden’s Community Service and Scout Project Coordinator, and a long-time supporter of our school garden, led the session and taught us how to use the garden tools. We got to work making the garden beautiful.

We all did different things and pulled out a lot of weeds. We used all different kinds of tools that do many things. I liked the hoe tool because I could do a lot of weed pulling down to the roots. It felt good to make our school garden better than we found it. After it was cleaned up we felt very accomplished. It took us less than an hour working together as a team. We all had a fun time in the garden and it was a great feeling to be part of something special.

I would definitely do this again. Everyone should be part of community service because it is really fun and rewarding. I will be doing the Builders Club program next year for sure. I know I will have a good time every time I clean the garden or help others in our community. It feels good to be a leader by example and is a great experience!

Find a need, come up with a plan and get it done!          ~K-Kids 2017

V-Volunteering is fun.
O-Obstacles along the way.
L-Love to help.
U-United with others.
N-Never give up.
T-Teamwork for all.
E-Everyone included.
E-Essential life skills.
R-Ready to help.

Adopt the Garden News – April

By Marivic Marko, Adopt the Garden Coordinator

With the spring flowers in full bloom, April was a fantastic time to be in the garden for our first graders.  They were able to see the vibrant California Poppy and learned that it was our state flower.  The first graders also got to witness Monarch caterpillars feasting on milkweed, and enjoyed the shade of the big Sycamore tree.

But their visit was also about learning to take care of the garden, and using garden tools properly.  The enthusiastic first graders did a fantastic job weeding, ensuring they removed the roots.  Other jobs included raking the pathways, dusting off animal footprints, and picking up trash in the garden. The garden was much more tidy and beautiful after their visit!
A BIG thank you to our students and teachers and our Garden Parent Volunteers:
  • Mrs. Kazen’s class and Parent Volunteer, Shamin Patel
  • Mrs. Thomson’s class and Parent Volunteer, Myco Ngo
  • Mrs. Neshek’s class and Parent Volunteers, Renee Christopher, Kate Rocha, and Sharon Sickler
  • Ms. Taj’s Class
  • Mrs. Belko’s Class
And an extra thank you to Mr. Hoyle’s 5th Grade class for additional help tidying the garden!

Week of the Pollinators – Part II

Spring has arrived and our second grade classrooms are in full swing into their life science unit, learning about pollinators.  This past week the students came out to the Garden for a mini on-site field trip, learning about two important pollinators they can observe in our Garden that are ubiquitous throughout North America, as well as many parts of the world, yet both facing alarming population decline.


From anatomy of the Honey Bee, modern bee keeping Hive assembly, bee keeping equipment, bee/hive management, to an actual bee observation tank, California Lutheran University student presenters Ryan Mundy and Francheska Tanglao of the CLU Beekeepers organization educated and enlightened our students about this vital, yet often stigmatized pollinator in a special Garden workshop.

Charts and graphs, as well as actual bee keeping suite, smoker, and a populated frame of honey bees busy at work were showcased and explained in detail to the excited students whom seldom have the opportunity for such a close-up encounter.  Many questions were asked, and our more than cool presenters patiently answered them.  When the session was up and there were still more hands in the air with questions, our muchkin entomologists  were encouraged to go back home and do some personal research.  Its exciting to see our students casting fear aside and becoming involved and inquisitive about honey bees.

The Garden wish to thank CLU Beekeepers for providing this wonderful experience for our kids. We look forward to having them back next year.

Special Thanks to Garden Committee members Marivic Marko & Athena Fischer for their assistance at the workshop.