Getting our hands dirty
Not all learning happens inside the classroom. In fact, sometimes the most powerful discoveries take place in nontraditional settings. Our Teaching Gardens offer students at every grade level opportunities to explore and record natural phenomena, apply classroom theory to solve ecological challenges, and cultivate a passion for stewardship.
Native Plant Teaching Gardens
Created through a partnership with Guilford Garden Club (GGC), our award-winning native plant gardens attract pollinators and provide food for migrating birds, making them ideal for plant, insect and ornithology studies. Schoolwide plantings and clean up days offer students opportunities to work alongside GGC experts, who share their knowledge of native grasses and flowers.
Friends Community Garden
A collaboration with Stony Run Friends Meeting, our Community Garden provides vegetables to CARES Food Pantry while engaging students in powerful lessons about healthful eating and the obstacles facing those who cannot afford fresh food. Classes visit the garden year-round, drawing inspiration for poetry writing, still life painting, and lessons about soil ecology.
Our Pre-Primary Sensory Gardens envelop Friends’ youngest learners in a variety of shapes, fragrances, and textures designed to stimulate learning and discovery. With lamb’s ear to touch, herbs to smell and taste, and four-foot tall grasses in which to explore, these outdoor learning oases invite children to slow down, look closely, and pay attention to their surroundings.
Aquaponics at Friends
Upper Schoolers with a passion for sustainable agriculture grow vegetables and goldfish in a self-contained symbiotic system they’ve designed and constructed from scratch. Students in the Aquaponics Club share daily responsibility for monitoring levels of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate in the soil-free nutrient solution, and harvesting crops for donation to CARES Food Pantry.