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HPCG is awarded $10K grant!

in News by Karen Hessel

The Hudson Park Children’s Greenhouse (HPCG) committee is delighted to announce that we have received a Westchester County Board of Legislature grant for $10,000 to be used for garden and educational programming by the Hudson Park Children’s Greenhouse committee.  After touring the historic Hudson Park Children’s Greenhouse site in November 2016 County Legislator Jim Maisano spoke at the HPCG 2nd Annual fundraiser in May 2017 and invited the group to submit a grant proposal.

The HPCG committee submitted a grant request that featured children’s programming initiatives.  “Children are always on devices nowadays and experience less and less of nature first hand.  We wanted to expose children to gardening and plants for fun and to gain scientific knowledge” said Karen Hessel, HPCG Secretary.  Millie Radonjic-Ilich, retired educator, who ran the Amy’s Greenhouse program at Barnard school said “the children love to get their hands dirty and experience nature firsthand.”

The Hudson Park Children’s Greenhouse (HPCG) programming committee already has provided a four week first grade ‘Seed Project’ at Trinity Elementary School.  Naomi Towers, retired educator, led the sessions, with assistance from Joyce Kent, retired science chairman of the New Rochelle School District, Steve Nakashima and others.   The programming was coordinated through Principal DiCarlo and the first grade teachers.

In the first classroom session, Naomi started with ‘What is a seed?’ and showed illustrations of seed cross sections.  The children dissected seeds and ‘found the baby plant’ inside, using hand lenses, toothpicks, soaked kidney beans and toothpicks.  In the second classroom session Naomi had the children assemble soaked seeds into Ziploc bags with paper towels.  They hung the Ziploc bags on the windows of the classroom and monitored the plant growth.  The students sketched predictions of what would happen.  In other sessions students learned about the life cycle of a pumpkin.  It was a wonderful project and was well received by the teachers and students.

Now that the $10,000 Westchester Board of Legislatures grant has been received, the group will provide the Seed Project programming at Barnard Elementary school for four first grade classes.  In these sessions Kent and Gams-Towers will focus on lima beans, which are large enough to dissect and analyze.  Other project series will focus on vegetable gardening and rain gardens.