New sensory garden unveiled at School No. 8


It takes a community to build a schoolyard garden, and at School No. 8, that’s exactly what they did, recently completing their new sensory and meditation garden. As with every garden, it began with a seed – in this case, an idea.

Teachers Debra Herman and Sheila Gunther wanted to make use of the school’s large courtyard and envisioned a space where students and teachers could gather outdoors for learning, play and recharging.

Fellow teachers joined Herman and Gunther, staff, administrators, students and their families, boy scouts and scouting leaders and their parents to help make their dream come true. A multi-year project, the creators of the garden hope it will enrich the School No. 8 community in years to come.

The garden features growing beds that Project Extra students helped build, nature-themed garden art created as a farewell gift to the school by sixth graders using upcycled materials, planting of bulbs, shrubs, ornamental flowers, vegetables, and herbs by students in the school’s Garden Club, and a labyrinth built as an Eagle Scout Project by high school student Louis Saglembeni and fellow scouts.

A repurposed fountain got a coat of white paint and with the addition of a solar kit, it will operate on energy drawn in by the sun.

Funds won by Project Extra’s class of 2022 in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow competition provided a rain gauge and other science tools for observing the natural world. High school students in Peter Orlando’s advanced materials class are working on tables and benches.