Ecology Club News

  • May 3oth is the next day for gardening!  Come along to join the Kid's Garden Club.

    May 10, 2012

    Garden Club for Students!

    May through September is a chance to have fun in the Millburn Community & School Garden.  Preparing, planting, caring, and harvesting raised garden beds here at Central has begun. 

    Students in 3rd grade through 8th grade are welcome to join the Ecology Club as we learn the basics of organic vegetable gardening.

    G0 to the forms section and fill out the permission to join or ask Ms. Reynolds for a hard copy of the form.  A fee of $7.50 will be needed on the first meeting, Friday, May 18, 2012.  The club meets at 2:45 - 4:30 pm in room 407.  We also will spend time in the garden planting so dress for playing in the dirt (or bring something in which to change).

    March 2012

    Millburn Money has a new life!  After the raffles are over, where do your bucks go?  The Ecology Club is shredding and pulping all those slips into a unique handmade soft green paper stock that includes paper, cards, envelopes, gift tags, and bookmarks.

    We will reveal the beautiful results on Earth Day Week this April.

    February 2012
    Multiple paper products to be finished and sold on Part-Mart Cart

    Garden and Earth Day activities planned

    January 2012

    Part-mart Cart sales of papermaking kits are always sold out.  We need club members to come help teach the skills to transform Millburn Money into new paper goods.

    Preparations for a spring and summer work plan are ready!  New members should drop off their ideas.

    4/16/11  This week the club planted heirloom seeds for tomatoes.

    4/15/11 Members create ECO POWERPLANT Paper
    Some of our recycled paper is being made into flower power paper! What is that? Our paper pulp has a added surprise: flower seeds. If you plant this paper some seeds may sprout in your garden.

    "The flowers will sure look beautiful." Erin

    "This will sure brighten your day." Enza

    "The Eco Powerplant Paper is my kind of flower power." Nina

    "The flowers are helping the environment plus looking nice." Rachel

    "I'm so excited to see the flowers bloom." Hannah

    "The flower paper is a great invention." Amy

    "I can't wait until my flowers bloom." Aastha

    4/8/11 Garden Readied for the Growing Season

    • The first grade is busy planning their pumpkin patch again this year.
    • Fourth grade is busy creating a fertile compost center that will nourish all the school garden beds
    • Ecology Club members are weeding, measuring, and starting seedlings for the school garden
    • Eighth grade is busy calling, comparison shopping, and coordinating the grade level gift of plantings to surround the outside fence for both beauty and wind breaks.

    The Garden Committee is meeting on a regular basis and needs people interested in participating on a small or larger basis. The invitation is going out to students, parents, neighbors, and community members with or without kids.

    Stay tuned for further details on dates and sub-committees to join.

    3/11/11 Worms and Waste at Millburn Central
    Counting paper, lights left on, water running, and lunch leftovers has been part of the Eco Club members tasks this winter.

    1/11/11 Lunch Trash Slowing Down.
    Members are busy encouraging students to reduce lunch waste. Rewards are being handed out daily as we catch people making better choices about how they bring food to school.

    This month members are looking for reusable beverage and snack container use.

    Check the lunch trash page to check each month's addition to the trash reduction plan.

    12/10 4th & 5th Grade Members met after school to get new assignments and learn about the Capri-Sun recycle Project here at Millburn Central.
    • Paper was made
    • The worms were visited and a schedule set for different grade levels to bring lunch scraps to feed our hungry worm families
    • An energy efficient package was handed out to be passed on to other friends and neighbors who wish to be greener.

    Club members are handing out reward tokens to people bringing beverages in a reusable container. Dec. 1 through Dec. 17

    12/1 December Trash Choices Goal
    We are on the lookout for people using reusable drink containers

    11/22 The first meeting is soon (check calendar for date). Sign up now or talk with Ms. Reynolds

    Ecology Club membership open for grades 4-8!
    Fridays after school are meet dates twice a month for grades 4-5, 2:45 pm - 4:30 pm
    Mondays after school once a month are for grades 6-8, 2:45 pm - 4:30 pm
    To join
    • read the home page of activities we do
    • have parent permission
    • be able to provide a fee of $15.00
    • fill out the application form under forms link
    • wait for contact (make certain to give a valid phone or email)
    Activity bus available for a fee or
    Arrange your own ride to pick you up in front

    Garden Care

    The school garden raised plots are being weeded and seeded with a winter crop by fourth grade students. The entire garden is being fenced in (thanks to an Eagle Scout project) and plowed (thanks to a farming friend to Millburn) to ready it for the spring planting. Will you be part of the garden effort?

    Pumpkin Update
    How does our garden grow?

    A few pumpkins are still growing in the beds.

    The school garden is located on the west side of the building in two raised beds. More students and adults are needed to maintain and increase our garden possibilities.

    School Garden Caretakers Needed

    The pumpkins are in the raised beds and ready to grow. This summer, we need club members, neighbors, and other Millburn Family members to sign up and come by to water these seedlings. Our pumpkin crop will get most of its needs from mother nature. However, the month of June is crucial for constant watering and some weeding. July will also need some watering and checking on pumpkin vine health.

    Check this website for a sign up sheet or email

    Build School Garden Beds
    July will be a possible opportunity to help build the remaining raised beds.
    This is not so difficult. We assemble with screws, stake into the ground, and fill the spaces with soil.

    Watch this site and the backpack for exact dates

    Adopt a Plant Project

    Plants around the indoors here at school are getting a boost from our hard working worms! If you know of a plant they needs some fertilizing care, we have an organic solution to pour on the soil. Contact the Ecology Club to get on the adoption list

    Earth Day Bracelets Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Busy at work, Ecology members are braiding and beading friendship bracelets that celebrate Earth Day. The bracelets are to handed out to students practicing Earth friendly habits and to students showing Earth Day spirit. These colorful, biodegradable symbols will remind everyone to remember the three R's.

    Paper Making Analysis Complete! --See Paper Production

    Worm Farm Care
    This month, the worm condos are being put to a wider use. Fourth grade lunch waste that is vegetable based will be fed to the worms. A vermiculture or red wiggler worm habitat is part of the Fourth Grade neighborhood. The worms have been digesting the vegetable matter from teacher lunches. The compost/soil made by the worms has already nourished (fed good vitamins and minerals) to some LRC potted trees.

    Now, each week, one fourth grade section will feed the worms scraps from student lunches. This soil will help nourish the young seedlings grown in First Grade that go into the school garden.

    Want to know more? Log in at the end of March for some photos and student comments about worm farming.

    Working Hard (and Having Fun) Reducing the Paper Waste

    Paper Production
    Training for paper production took place on 1/22. Many students are using Monday and Wednesday recesses for creating softly tinted sheets of handmade paper. At this time, recycled copy and notebook paper from fourth grade classrooms is the source for the handmade paper.

    Special effects and materials are being experimented with (this week and into next month) to see what other types of paper will produce an interesting and usable product.

    Ecology members will be figuring out the 'cost' of producing handmade paper. They will record the time and effort needed to create one sheet (human power). The amount of raw material used in the paper slurry will be measured. The raw materials include the recycled paper, construction paper scraps to tint, and the water used in the paper slurry. Lastly, the energy used to power the blender (plus the blender) will be added into the calculations. Check back at the end of February for the analysis.