Builders Club In The Garden

By Nicholas Marko, 8th grade student and three years Builders Club MemberBuilders Club at the Garden (16)

On September 18, Builders Club helped tidy up the garden.

When we arrived, there were branches all over the garden and it looked like a lot of plants had grown over the summer. The path had some plants growing into it. Mrs. Louie talked to us about what needed to be done in the garden. The members were split up into groups and assigned jobs.

The Garden Committee coordinators Mrs. Louie, Mrs. Marko and Mr. Malouf lead the effort. They were aided by about one hundred members of Builders Club and some of their parents in weeding the garden, clearing the planter beds, deadheading plants to encourage further blooming, and removing trash. Builders Club members and the adult volunteers worked for about an hour, and at that point the garden was looking a lot better.

It felt good to help out with the work that had to be done in the garden, and it made me personally feel a little bit closer to nature while being productive and keeping the garden in good condition.

Editor’s Note:  Special thanks to Builders Club advisor Mrs. Young for bring out her club members to assist the Garden with our Fall clean-up, and to the fabulous parents of the club members who joined us for the effort.  You’ve helped us build our community!


Chris Boudreau Completes Eagle Project With “Pit Discovery”

Congratulations to 17 year old Chris Boudreau of Boy Scout Troop 754 for completing his Eagle Project with the Garden, building the long awaited simulated archaeological dig site “Pit Discovery” for the Sycamore Canyon School students, and refurbishing the surrounding fences for the Edible Lab.

Chris raised over $900 to finance his effort through a GoFundMe page he created and shared with friends, family, and the community via Facebook.  He was also successful in obtaining support from the local businesses with sand donated by Mr. Haigh of Bonanza Concrete Inc., cases of water for the work days from Hollywood Storage, as well as coffee from Starbucks for the first day of the project.

An estimated total of 42 hours was spent by Chris for planning and preparation, with an additional 287 hours of work provided collectively by Chris and his recruited team of volunteers to complete the project.

The beautifully constructed dig site Chris built will provide enriching hands-on environment for SCS students to learn, explore and discover for years to come.  We applaud Chris for his accomplishment, achieving the highest scout honor of Eagle, and for his contribution to our community.

Ms. Thomson’s Class Gift Help Our Garden Glow

Thank you Ms. Thomson and your wonderful first grade class for gifting the Garden with a class gift of a rainbow Gaze Globe!

This decorative, shining stainless steel gazing mirror ball not only add a bit of fun spice to our Garden, the kindness bestowed to our school’s nature space will be treasured now and for years to come.  Thank you so much for your gift!!


Proud Harvest

By: Jo Louie, Garden Committee Chair

20180606_104246SCS’s Manna Project concluded this year with the delivery of two giant boxes of produce donated to the oldest Conejo Valley food bank organization, Manna.  This brings our donation grand total for this academic year to 7 boxes and 13 bags of fresh, SCS Garden grown produce.

This contribution could not be possible without the partnership of the following 20180601_105027dedicated adult volunteers: Namrata Dutta (parent), Judy Caples (grandma), Athena Fischer (community volunteer), Sonceriae Armstrong (parent), Alia Mathews (parent), as well as Alia’s husband, father in-law, also John Taillon (Mrs. Taillon’s husband) whom have assisted with their carpentry skills.

A big THANK YOU also goes out to the teachers and their classrooms that came to the Edible Lab to assist with Manna.  A very special THANK YOU goes to Mrs. Baron and her 4th grade class, who had participated biweekly to this project.  A very special IMG_3013bond was formed between all of us that have worked with the students.  Getting the children to understand the magnitude of their deeds, and what they are doing to help contributing to our community, is a very gratifying experience.  As Mrs. Baron’s class worked with the Manna Project the most, we feel especially close to these youth.  Over the course of the year, they have grown and developed the kindred spirit to help and assist others in need, while at the same time taking care of the environment that provides us with life.  We too share Mrs. Baron’s pride in the student’s accomplishments and growth as healthy, compassionate human being.

Thank you all for a wonderful year!!

It’s a Wrap! Adopt the Garden Concludes with 2nd Grade Classes!

By:  Marivic Marko, Adopt the Garden Coordinator

2nd graders had quite a few visits to the garden this month!

Each 2nd grade class attended the Pollinator Workshop created and presented by Jo Louie, the SCS Garden Project Chair. There they learned about the importance of pollinators such as honey and native bees, how they impact our lives and how to help them. This coincided with another pollinator they were growing in their classroom – Painted Lady Butterflies. In the classroom, they raised the Painted Lady butterflies from caterpillars to pupae and released them in the garden when they became butterflies. The garden was full of Painted Lady butterflies!

One of the 2nd graders final visits to the Garden this month included the Adopt the Garden program where the students worked to help maintain the Garden. Before they got to work, the students had a chance to see Monarch caterpillars on our local milkweed, blooming orange poppies, and the garden bursting with color! This was the final visit of students lending a helping hand before the summer break, and the second graders did a fantastic job working hard to leave the Garden well maintained. We are grateful for their hard work!


Mrs. Barley and her class
Mrs. Anthony/Mrs. Carr and their class
Mrs. Guevara and her class
Mrs. Gomez and her class
Mrs. Huber and Parent/Grandparent Volunteers Anna Ford and Sharon Sickler

Special Thanks:
Mr. Hoyle and his class, and Parent Volunteer, Jamie Voegler


Thank You, Mr. Hoyle!

By: Marivic Marko, Adopt the Garden Coordinator

As Mr. Hoyle prepares to leave Sycamore at the end of this school year, his 5th grade class decided to honor his commitment to the garden with a touching ceremony. On Monday, June 4, 2018, the class presented Mr. Hoyle with a Carpinteria californica “Bush Anemone”, a flowering evergreen shrub native to the Sierra Nevada foothills in California, that was planted in his honor in the Garden.

For the last 3 years, each of Mr. Hoyle’s 5th grade classes have consistently performed community service in the garden throughout the school year. His classes have come as often as twice a month to help maintain the Garden.

The work did not simply fall on the students – Mr. Hoyle has picked up a rake to clear pathways and neaten them, used shears to cut unwieldy branches and plants, and installed garden signs. He has taken great pride in the Garden and his dedication shows. Mr. Hoyle has encouraged his students to perform community service, work hard and reflect Sycamore’s values of Responsibility, Respect and Citizenship. His enthusiasm and commitment has helped the Garden complete several projects such as spreading bags of mulch, designing and constructing Edible Lab cages, planting beans, and doing the hard work needed to maintain a beautiful space of nature.

Thank you Mr. Hoyle for the all the time you have given the Garden, and for sharing your love of nature with this generation of students!