Earth Week Rewind
Thank you to our Earth Week and Arbor Day Parent Volunteers!
Greene Towners Greening Center City
In 1966 Greene Towne Montessori School’s founding parents derived their inspiration in naming
the school from William Penn’s aspiration for Philadelphia to be a “greene countrie towne”.
Today, Greene Towne students and parent volunteers contribute to fulfilling Penn’s dream for a
healthy, green city.
During the week between Earth Day and Arbor Day, students engaged in a variety of activities
learning the importance of caring for the natural environment. Throughout the week, parents,
students, and teachers worked together to welcome a new growing season by planting, setting up worm composting, and caring for street trees in and around the school.
Our roof top container garden and courtyard garden provide our city-dwelling students the
opportunity to grow flowers, herbs, and vegetables to enjoy throughout the growing season.
Established by parent volunteers in 2003, the gardening program has expanded to include tending street trees and worm composting, keeping close to 500 pounds of kitchen and paper waste from landfills each year. All the children, from the youngest Toddler to the oldest Kindergartner, relish digging for worms, squealing with delight when they find one.
This year, in addition to gardening and worm composting, the Kindergartners tended 16 street
trees near the school. Before putting on their garden gloves and heading out with trowels and
garden forks, the 5 and 6-year- olds shared their thoughts about why trees are important and why we need to take care of them.
“Trees give us oxygen and clean the air.” “We breath oxygen so if there were no trees we wouldn’t have any air.” “Trees give us food: nuts, maple syrup, apples, oranges, cherries, bananas, pears, avocadoes, mangoes and coconuts.” “Trees are pretty and give us flowers.” “Trees give us shade.” “Trees give us wood and we make houses and beautiful wooden toys and our play structure is made of wood.” “Our classroom furniture and work is made from wood.” “They give us paper so we can draw and write stories and make crafts.” Trees also make homes for squirrels and chipmunks and birds, “where they build nests way up high.” and “Cats like to climb trees.”
The Kindergartners learned that trees “drink” water through their roots, difficult when the soil in the tree pit is compacted. To help the trees receive more water, students loosened the compacted soil in the tree pits, allowing water from rain fall to reach deep into the ground for the trees’ roots to soak up. Once the soil was loosened, they spread mulch around the tree to help retain moisture and keep the trees’ roots cool during the hot summer.
After tending the trees, Kindergartners drew pictures and wrote stories about the importance of
caring for trees. William Penn’s dream lives on in Greene Towne’s students.