Outdoor Learning Center Club
The OLC (Outdoor Learning Center) Club has been designed for all students of Mountain View to join together with helping hands to keep our beautiful space alive and thriving! The OLC has been transformed over the years into a wonderful workspace for students and teachers to conduct daily lessons and projects based off the surrounding environment.
In order to keep the use of space, we need maintenance of all garden beds. In the fall, the main focus of the OLC Club is to harvest the many fruits and vegetables that were planted by the previous year's members. The fruits and vegetables harvested are all donated to local food pantries. In addition to the fall harvest, the OLC Club helps prepare the beds for winter with trimming, mulching and spring bulb plantings! The OLC Club meets back up in the spring to help prepare the beds for the new growth. Members plant seeds, rake leaves, restock the soil and mulch. In addition, members will help plan new garden beds and label previous beds with plant names.
Club Meeting Dates:
Fall (September to early November) and Spring (April to June) on Tuesdays from 3:30 to 4:00 pm (weather permitting).
Additionally: Special, school-wide Garden clean-up days are scheduled in the Fall and Spring.
- Plus throughout the year: Volunteers are being sought who will energize our efforts to continue the development of the Outdoor Learning Center. If you are interested in volunteering your time or talent to this ongoing project, please contact Ms. Carey (Carey@mendhamboroschools.org) or Mr. Zangara (email@example.com)
Special Upcoming Events
Ends Mon. April 15, 2019: Engraved Paver Sale
- Mendham Boro Families - Want to leave a lasting impression for your child at Mountain View?
- Incoming 5th Graders - Wouldn’t your child love to see their name at their new school?
- Current 5th Graders - Your child would love to see their name at their new school for three years!
- Current 8th Graders - Send your child off to high school with some graduation wishes that will last with Mountain View forever.
The OLC (Outdoor Learning Center) is allowing children the opportunity to change the world! Students in OLC are providing Mountain View with a beautiful place to learn and explore. The OLC donates all of the vegetables grown to local soup kitchens. The plants and flowers grown in the OLC contribute to the overall wellbeing of our planet.
Please purchase a paver to support the OLC in changing the planet!
Here are some commonly asked questions about the pavers:
Q. Where are they located?
A. The pavers are located right on the walkway going into the garden. All of the kids either walk by them or stand by them in the morning.
Q. I am really interested but I don’t know what I should request to be written on one?
A. A lot of parents place their child’s graduation date, their last name or even a business name on a paver. They are also great holiday, birthday, anniversary, academic and athletic achievement gifts.
Q. Are there different size pavers?
A. Yes, there are three different sizes and the least expensive one is $50.
Q. Can we place more than one student's name on a paver?
A. Yes, there is room for at least three student names on a paver.
A Look Back on the Outdoor Learning Center's Growth...
SPRING 2016: Spring Clean-Up
FALL 2015: Fall Clean-UpThis fall we have donated over 49 pounds of fresh produce harvested from the Outdoor Learning Center to the Interfaith Food Pantry! To help prepare the Outdoor Learning Center for the winter months ahead and next year's harvesting season, students, parents, & staff pitched in and lent a hand at the Outdoor Learning Center's Annual Fall Clean-Up day on Saturday, October 24, 2015. Thank you to all for volunteering your time and gardening skills!
SPRING 2015: Spring Clean-UpParents and students joined us on Earth Day, Wednesday, April 22, 2015 for our annual Spring Outdoor Learning Center Clean-Up Day. We prepared our OLC for the spring and summer months; and we added a new addition, an Ozone Garden, to support the work our sixth grade science teacher Mrs. Magrini researched during the summer of 2014 for the 5th and 6th grade science curriculum.
Plus! Here is more news about the plans that are underway for the inclusion of an ozone garden in the OLC for students in Mrs. Magrini's sixth grade science classes to research air quality:
An ozone monitoring garden is full of plants that scientists have found to be ozone-sensitive. When exposed to high levels of ozone, each of these plants shows damage on their leaves. Students will learn how to recognize ozone damage symptoms on plant leaves, how to estimate the amount of damage, and which plants are susceptible to ozone. Students will also learn about basic atmospheric chemistry, the relationship between ozone and human health and how plants serve as indicators of air quality. This will be a fantastic extension of the grade six science curriculum which is heavily focused on Earth Systems.
Mrs. Magrini learned about the ozone garden while participating in the NASA LEARN (Long- term Engagement in Authentic Research with NASA) program. In July 2014, she spent two weeks at Langley Research Center for training in atmospheric research alongside top scientists in the field as well as twenty other educators from the United States. At that time, she also selected an atmospheric topic to study throughout the rest of the year. Mrs. Magrini will return to Langley in July 2015 to present the results of her independent research. Along with this research, Mrs. Magrini has also integrated many new learning activities from her LEARN training throughout the school year, such as using satellite data to study Earth Systems. While at Langley last summer, Mrs. Magrini had the opportunity to visit the Virginia Living Museum where there is an established ozone garden and was trained in identifying damage to leaves from ozone. She is very excited to provide her students with this authentic opportunity for research in our very own Outdoor Learning Center!
FALL 2014: Fall Clean-UpOn Saturday, October 18, approximately 40 parents and students joined us for our annual OLC Fall Cleanup. That day, our volunteers cut, pruned, raked, weeded and removed leaves and branches to prepare for winter. In addition, we harvested the last of our produce and herbs to be donated to the Interfaith Food Pantry in Morristown, NJ. The fall 2014 harvest yielded over 61 lbs. of produce to feed local families. This is the largest donation of totally organically grown produce our school has contributed so far! Thank you to all the families who helped make a difference in our community!
FALL 2013: Teaching Garden Yields Harvest of Good Will
Mountain View students donated more than five pounds of produce to Homeless Solutions in Morristown, NJ. The September 6th harvest featured an abundance of peppers, eggplant and carrots was offered to the organization which provides assistance to the homeless and working poor.
On September 13th, a second donation of vegetables was delivered to the Interfaith Food Pantry of Morristown. Students gathered ten pounds of crops including ripe tomatoes, green beans and herbs to share with their neighbors in need.
Additionally, the garden has yielded fresh food provided to the school cafeteria as a healthy supplement to the students’ lunch menu. Members of the school’s Garden Club gather to collect vegetables from the raised planting beds, which are utilized for the promotion of the consumption of fresh, healthy and local foods by the student body.
These student-led community donations are the culmination of a school curriculum that began last year as students conducted science exercises utilizing seeds. Fifth-grade science teacher Brianna Cubby led winter experiments that examined the impact of electrical stimulation on seed germination and plant growth. In spring, the resulting starts were transplanted into the outdoor learning center, where they were cultivated by students and teachers, including social studies teacher Marisa Dodge.
SUMMER 2012: Student Gardeners
The Outdoor Learning Center has become a productive asset for student learning at Mountain View. The 2012 Summer Enrichment program provided an opportunity for students to sow seeds and plant seedlings, which were nurtured to produce an abundant harvest. Fifth-grade teachers Ms. Cubby (science) and Mrs. Dodge (Social Studies) presented the Mountain View staff with some of the delicious proceeds from the teaching garden. A pasta salad was prepared using garden-fresh tomatoes, peppers, zucchini and herbs--all from the raised planting beds. Vegetables from the harvest have also been included in the cafeteria lunch, which is available to all students.
SPRING 2012: School Grounds Work DayOur Schools Grounds Work Day on May 5, 2012 Was a Total Community Effort!
Click here for before pictures of the school grounds.
Thanks to the amazing combined efforts of Mendham students, parents, teachers and staff, along with municipal workers, community volunteers and business owners, the Mountain View School has a fresh new face!
The transformation would not have been possible without the generous support of the Mendham Borough HSA, which purchased trees and shrubs for the front of the school. Their ongoing support of the MV Garden and Outdoor Learning Center committees has been essential. The MV teaching and administrative staff was well-represented by Ms. Cubby, Ms. Dubek, Mr. Bigsby and Alex Dodge (son of Mrs. Dodge).
The Mendham Borough Dept. of Public Works came to our rescue with their equipment to help dig out beds and place trees. Ken O'Brien also worked to secure the donation of truckloads of top-quality soil and mulch.
Significant tree trimming was provided by Timber Tailors of Stanhope and Tri County Tree Service of Mendham. These companies, without direct ties to the school, donated the use of their trucks, equipment and full crews for an entire work day, saving the school thousands of dollars in tree work. Extra help with tree pruning was provided by members of Boy Scout Troop 777 of Montville.
Bryan Seavey of Seavey Construction built four raised garden beds to be utilized by each Mountain View grade as part of their school curriculum. These were placed in the new Outdoor Learning Center, and readied by volunteers, including Girl Scout Cadette Troop 671 of Mendham Borough.
Many thanks also to The "Secret Gardener" who anonymously donated two shade trees for the rear of the school, and to community member and fence contractor Lou Cavallo who helped install the fence panels.
This project was funded entirely by donations, including the services of the following local companies. Please support the businesses that support our schools:
•The Farm at Green Village•
Tri-County Tree Service
Van F. Pool and Michael Knapp of Knapp & Associates
FALL 2011: Initial Planting Begins
Thanks to the efforts of more than 50 school and community volunteers, on November 5, 2011, over 250 flowers, shrubs and trees were planted in the Outdoor Learning Center. Mountain View fifth-graders also planted over 200 daffodil bulbs.
Gratitude alone cannot express our appreciation for the generosity of the local businesses that donated high-quality plants, shrubs and trees. Please support the businesses that support our school: Plant Detectives, Chester; Country Nursery Garden Center, Chester; Walter's Garden Center, Bernardsville; Mendham Garden Center, Mendham; Ralston Nursery, Mendham; Redwood Gardens, Randolph; Great Swamp Greenhouse, Gilette.
Students, teachers and families were aided by local business volunteers. Mike Bruin and Bruin and Sons Landscaping continued their long-time support for the OLC by offering materials and labor. Van F. Pool and Michael J. Knapp at Knapp & Associates kindly donated the comprehensive landscape design, and were assisted by Alberto and Sons with the plan execution.
FALL 2011: Deer-Proof Fencing
The enthusiastic support of the HSA helped spur very successful fundraising that enabled the installation of deer-proof fencing.
FALL 2010: Outdoor Classroom and Garden Walkway
Thanks to Mike Bruin of Bruin & Sons for enlisting the support of Harrington Construction and Hoffman Supply. Mr. Bruin teamed up with these Long Valley companies to install the outdoor patio classroom and engraved-stone walkway.