For the Birds (and the human, too)!

Daisy Scout Troop 60990 made a beautiful birdbath together, and gifted this effort of teamwork and friendship to our garden!  This is a welcoming and artistic addition to our nature space – for avian and human alike!  Thank you and great job Daisies!!!



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!

History Comes Alive!! 3rd Grade Living Museum in the Garden!

Friday June 1, 2018, Mrs. Hise’s 3rd grade class presented their Living Museum Biography Report in the Garden.  What a pleasant surprise it is to find George Washington under our Sycamore tree!

IMG_1129“The Living Museum was a great experience. It was fun dressing up like George Washington and I learned a lot about him. He seemed to be very popular because every time my button was pushed, a large crowd formed around me to hear about my report!”
~ Christopher Berg


A Journey to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico!

By: Lisa Bonomo, Cultural Advisor for Culture at the Garden – Puerto Rico

The Culture at the Garden – Puerto Rico, took children on a journey to learn about a Commonwealth of the United States.  What, a Commonwealth?    Puerto Rico is not a country? It’s not a State?  No, Puerto Rico is a commonwealth of the United States of America, and its residents are citizens of the United States.

The children were taken on a journey of the island and its most valued aspects using crafts, games and dancing of course!  They started with El Coqui’, a small tree frog, that is indigenous to the island, they make the music of the island, Koh-kee, singing from dusk ‘til dawn. They learned of the Bioluminescent bay of Vieques and the NASA radio telescope in Arecibo to El Morro fort, that was used to defend the island in the early days of Spanish occupancy and the children went through a life sized El Morro in order to get onto the island and learn about the culture, music and games Puerto Rico is famous for.

Once through El Morro, they learned about Danza, Reggaeton, Bolero, Merengue and Salsa; using maracas they showed off their dance skills on the stage.  They learned how to play dominoes, a game that is near and dear to the heart of Puerto Ricans; they learned of the Taino Indian culture that makes Puerto Rico unique, and received a Taino Coqui glitter tattoo.  They heard about the culture and saw traditional dress of Puerto Rican men and women.  They answered trivia questions to win a prize; and enjoyed refreshing Piragua’s, a shaved ice drink, and plantain chips, 2 delicious treats that every child experiences on the island.

Who knew Puerto Rico had so much more to offer than beautiful beaches! Did you?

Special Thank you to :

  • Event Sponsor:  Amgen Latin Employees Network (ALEN)
  • Planning committee: Lisa Bonomo, Tina Mortillaro, Tanya Nunez, Subha Tholudur
  • SCS Volunteers: Archana Timmaraju, Samatha Gummadi, Marivic Marko, Jen Lunney, Sonceriae Armstrong, Namrata Dutta, Puja Kaushik, Alex Lagrave, María Paz Varas, Johanna Duc, Lisa Bonomo, Jen Lunney, Jamie Hammer-Voegler, Subha Tholudur, Tina Mortillaro, Alicia Andrae, Imelda Fuentes, Darshana Bhamre, Andrea Feagan, Marie Turner, Anette Power.
  • ALEN Volunteers: Tanya Nunez, Ivy Colon-Perez, Nahira Miscalichi, Edgar Romo.


Photos by: Stacy Gleason and Marivic Marko