Frenchtown School’s PTG-led volunteer clean-up was a great success Saturday, April 30. Despite weekend conflicts including opening day for EG Little League and its ensuing parade, birthday parties, soccer practices, dance recitals, and other extracurricular events that often fill elementary-schoolers’ weekends, school grounds and gardens saw more than 20 Frenchtown Bears and their parents volunteer under the helpful direction and example of PTG Outdoor Spaces and Places Committee members.
Principal Maryann Crudale was also present to lend a hand, helping to spread 38 bags of mulch, donated by participating families, and applaud students for their efforts in the collection of two large bags of trash from across school grounds. PTG Board Member Brian Clement supplied his personal yard tools, weilding both a leaf blower and a weed wacker to tackle the expanse of the afternoon cleanup.
Frenchtown School is home to a native garden, a “Certified Wildlife Habitat” designated by the National Wildlife Federation in August 2021, designed to both attract birds and pollinators native to Rhode Island and supplement the correlating school curriculum. Students worked alongside their peers and their parents to weed, mulch, edge, and prune the native garden, as well as at the school’s front entrance where hydrangeas are reawakening after this year’s cool start to spring.
The PTG committee helped each student to plant a daffodil in the fall while they received a quick lesson in the growing cycle of a plant bulb from several volunteers, including Meg Maurice, Susan Cardones, Jill Brumberger, and Kate Glass. This spring’s cleanup happened to coincide with the peak bloom of those bulbs.
Outdoor Places & Spaces committee leaders Meg Maurice and Jill Brumberger have been very involved helping students enjoy these hands-on opportunities, even starting a new “No Waste Wednesday” composting program. “It was the highlight of her week,” said Frenchtown parent and frequent garden volunteer Jennifer Rannenberg, recalling her young neighbor’s smile as she described her Frenchtown school day earlier this week.
Additional PTG volunteer events will be in place for the Frenchtown Elementary community before the end of the school year, get in touch HERE for complete details.