Despite the Weather, Volunteers Come Out in Support of Berkshire Garden
It was raining and breezy at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 15, when the work began on the Berkshire Middle School Environmental Study Area. Volunteers started in the Community Garden, determined to ready the garden for the winter. Plants were harvested for the final time this year and plants were pruned and treated. Woodchips were laid out in the new “outdoor classroom,” built this summer as an Eagle Scout Project by former Berkshire student, Mark Melendy.
The 43 participants spread 15 yards of woodchips and nearly 320 pounds of topsoil throughout the area. Two boundary posts were set as well.
“The students learned how to drive a wheelbarrow, how to identify buckthorn, how to pitchfork and rake woodchips, and that wood chips are warm as they decompose releasing energy that accumulated in them while the trees were alive,” said Mark Phillips, Berkshire teacher. “They also learned that food comes from a garden, not the store, and that the Environmental Study Area is the result of many hours of volunteer work. It was created through contributions by many people over the past seven years. The adults learned that they have muscles they had forgotten about.”
The efforts were successful thanks in part to Berkshire’s Proud Dad's Club, led by Kevin Dimitry; Lori Lachowicz who provided snacks of donuts and bagels; Aaron Wilds who provided bottled water; Irene Dimitry who brought the fixin’s for chili dogs and sloppy Joes for lunch; Michael Tucker and Fadi Hermes who each provided 4x4 treated posts to mark the boundary of the Environmental Study Area; Gary Stevens of BPS who ensured the timely arrival and placement of woodchips, wheelbarrows, and tools; Robert Hassenrik who loaned the group a wheelbarrow; Michelle Ruth who provided eight bags of topsoil for the flower beds; The Woman’s National Farm & Garden Association – Franklin Branch who donated $300 toward the development and maintenance of Berkshire’s Environmental Study Area; and the Deutsche Sprachschule Bloomfield (German School) who donated 90 bulbs to be planted this fall for flowers next spring.