As part of a nationwide “Day of Service” initiated by national Professional Landcare Network (PLANET) Lawn and Landscape Association, YardScapes selected Sarah Noble Intermediate School in New Milford CT to transform the school’s courtyard into a healing garden and outdoor classroom. A labyrinth was chosen as the center of the outdoor classroom not simply for the expansive curricula opportunities its design offers elementary education but, as our founder, Shayne Newman, explains, “…even more progressive—children are encouraged to walk labyrinths before tests to alleviate anxiety or during particularly challenging times to de-stress. If two students are engaged in conflict, they will be asked to walk the labyrinth together. That’s powerful.”
Poly-resin log seats surround the labyrinth forming an outdoor classroom. The twenty-six seats poignantly hold the space in remembrance of those who lost their lives at Sandy Hook Elementary School. “The Serenity Circle” is dedicated to the grand daughter of a Sarah Noble Intermediate School educator who died at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Healing Garden & Outdoor Classroom Description
Volunteers installed a 16-ft, five-circuit, Belgium block labyrinth, along with a pink-flowering dogwood, and a new lawn from seed.
- Biodegradable template used for the labyrinth’s pattern from Natural Playgrounds Company
- 16-ft, five-circuit, Belgium block labyrinth (donated by YardScapes)
- 26 rustic poly-resin log seats (funds granted by the PTO)
- Seeded a new lawn (YardScapes)
- Pink flowering dogwood (chosen for project by YardScapes/donated by the Connecticut Master Gardener Association)
- Programmable sprinkler timer (donated by YardScapes)
SNIS principal, Dr. Leonard Tomascello—“Dr. T” as he’s affectionately called—wrote to Shayne, expressing his gratitude for our efforts. He ended his letter by writing the healing garden is a “wonderful tribute to the children and colleagues in Newtown.”
Volunteers for the landscaping project:
YardScapes volunteers: Shayne Newman, Ramiro Parra, Rodolfo Tepan, James Ryerse, and Ava Newman.
Brookfield BNI Business Bobcat volunteers:
- Michelle Connelly of Michelle Connelly Training
- Jon Dupree of Calibrate Marketing & Mentoring
- Joe Garzi of Southridge Technology Grp LLC
- James Philipakos of Savings Bank of Danbury
- Jeff Rondini and Glen Sauer of Southpaw Builders
- Darren Trim of DPT Plumbing & Heating
- Alan Varno of A&M Presentations
- Michele Varno of Webster Bank
- Jed Wilson of The Danbury Whalers
Special thanks to: