Four years ago, Shaker Junior High School formed a group called “A Call To Action”, coinciding with the beginning of a National Park Service project to get young people interested in national parks and historic sites. Each year, a small group of North Colonie students in grades 8-11 volunteer to take on a year-long research project for the Roosevelt-Vanderbilt site. The program will continue until 2016 when there will be a national celebration of the nation’s park system for its 100 year anniversary.
This year, students have been researching all aspects of historic horticulture at the Val-Kill and Springwood estates. Horticulture is the art or practice of garden cultivation and management.
Under the guidance of SJHS Library Media Specialist Judith Stott and Social Studies teacher Kathryn Peterson, “A Call to Action” student members have started putting together the various gutters, pipes and valves for the hydroponic garden that will be housed in the school library. A hydroponic garden grows plants using mineral nutrient solutions in water, without soil. Technology Education teacher, Mr. Mastaitis has greatly contributed to this project with his historical knowledge and building skills.
The official first planting of the garden will take place on March 25 at the Shaker Junior High School Library.