Nancy Smith's three grown children are graduates of AWS, and she admits to a soft spot in her heart for our school. Also present were local landscape designer and native plant expert, AWS graduate Jeffrey Tunkey, who has prepared a preliminary plan for the site, several current AWS teachers (Lisa Carrow, Kate Ronan, Maria Ebersole, Krystal Weston), our Maintenance Manager Scott Szafranski, former AWS teacher Betsy Zeiner, and two board members (Chris Naughton and Jane Ried).
Participants noted that the school's large front lawn, between West Falls Road and the driveway, has long been considered a perfect spot for a meadow of wildflowers and native grasses and shrubs. Allowing all or part of the site to "naturalize" will attract pollinators and other wildlife, sequester carbon, reduce fossil fuel use in mowing, and provide direct outdoor education opportunities for our students. With appropriate signage, trails will offer the public a nature experience and a chance to learn about Waldorf's long-time connection to environmental stewardship.
Topics included different options for preparation of the soil, from stripping the sod to plowing to overseeding; resources for seeds and plants, and planting techniques, especially those manageable by children, were discussed. Kevin invited everyone to the Knox Farm greenhouses, and advised that future field trips by AWS classes would be welcome!
This consultation with Nancy and Andy was made possible by a donation to the Land Conservancy in AWS's name, which also includes an ad in their fall Gala program. We encourage everyone to check out the Land Conservancy's website and learn about their incredible mission and projects across Western New York. Anyone interested in assisting the AWS Wildlife Meadow project, and preparing/constructing outdoor learning spaces at the school, please contact Trustee and Buildings & Grounds Chair Chris Naughton.