Events Harvest Festival Outdoor Learning Center Seth Boyden News

Harvest Festival 2021

Saturday, October 16th is the Seth Boyden Harvest Festival!! Please volunteer to make the day really special! Volunteer HERE!

General Outdoor Learning Center PTA School Seth Boyden News

First Day Coffee Meet and Greet!

Seth Boyden OLC

September 13, 2021 8:45AM at Seth Boyden Elementary School

Please join the PTA at the OLC (Outdoor Learning Center) to welcome Seth Boyden parents new and old back to campus!Right after drop off, there will be pastries from The Bread Stand and coffee. Masks are required when not eating. We will welcome new families, review upcoming activities and ways to participate in PTA! 

Garden Outdoor Learning Center

Seth Boyden Weekly Summer Farm Stand

Seth Boyden Shares and the Rent Party Garden invite you to our Free Farm Stand

It’s about sharing food and creating friendships…

Every Saturday over the summer at Seth Boyden School, 10 am

❤ Produce will be placed on tables near the garden entrance in Seth Boyden’s back schoolyard by 10 am and will be there throughout the day until the food is gone

❤ Take something to share with your family, leave some for others, and make new friends around the farm table

For more information, or if you want to help harvest and care for our garden, contact Maggie Tuohy [email protected] or ask to join the Facebook group Seth Boyden Shares, School Garden to Table.

Garden Outdoor Learning Center School

Nature Activity: I Spy Nature

From Mrs. Tuohy:

“Dear Families, 

Hooray! We started our seeds for our spring and summer garden this week! I will keep you posted on their progress. 

Ready for a little I Spy Nature game? 

I Spy Nature in the Seth Boyden Garden…

  • things that are decomposing
  • a pollinator
  • seeds with space
  • food for birds
  • a flower head from our 2020 garden
  • something ready to burst color
  • a sign that winter is ending
  • a tool for the soil
  • a seed that flies
  • a natural spiral
  • a seed pod
  • a fruit with vitamin C
  • a root for eating

Play with your children and make up some of your own clues. Create your own I Spy Nature Tray. I wonder what you will find outside your door? 

I am challenging myself to learn a new bird call with students each week this spring. Today we listened to the Northern Cardinal. You can hear it here by clicking here

Fourth-grader Callum Catts suggested we learn the Blue Jay and Mourning Dove next! Make sure you hear his Mourning Dove imitation if you see him around! 

Lots of love and happy snow melting! 

Mrs. Tuohy” 

Garden Holidays Outdoor Learning Center School Seth Boyden News

Celebrate MLK Day with a Nature’s Cake

From Seth Boyden Garden Teacher Mrs. Tuohy:

Make a batch of homemade playdough (recipe below).

Gather beautiful objects from nature. Decorate the play dough with the natural objects while reflecting on and celebrating the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Simple homemade play dough recipe:


  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup salt
  • 4 teaspoons cream of tartar (optional)
  • 2 cups lukewarm water
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • food coloring (optional)
  • ziploc bag, plastic wrap, or airtight container to store


  1. Stir together the flour, salt, and cream of tartar (if using it) in a large pot. 
  2. Add the water and oil. If you are adding the optional food coloring, add it now. 
  3. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. Continue stirring until the dough has thickened and begins to form a ball. 
  4. Remove from heat and place on another nonstick surface to cool slightly. 
  5. Knead until smooth and roll into balls. Cover with plastic wrap, place in a ziploc bag, or store in an airtight container.
Garden Outdoor Learning Center School Uncategorized

Winter Nature Activities

From Seth Boyden Garden Teacher Ms. Tuohy:

Birdseed Cookies

Yummy treats for our winter bird friends!

  • Mix unflavored gelatin with boiling water.
  • Use 2 or 3 tablespoons of gelatin to a cup of water, stir until dissolved. 
  • Stir in birdseed until the liquid is mixed through and the birdseed is wet but not in a puddle.
  • Place the mixture inside a greased cookie cutter or muffin tin.
  • Place a straw in each seed cookie to create the hole for hanging the seed cookie. 
  • Let chill for a few hours before releasing the cookies from the molds.
  • Hang on trees for feathered friends to enjoy!

Read The Snow Tree by Caroline Repchuk to find how other creatures have brought color and gifts to the winter whiteness.

For more information, visit One Little Project – Bird Seed Ornaments.

Snow Scene/Art

Fill an aluminum pan with snow. Using items from home, build a scene and tell a story. Add paint or food coloring if you wish.

Animal Tracking

Visit our Seth Boyden Garden to see who has been checking on the garden and missing us!

Garden Outdoor Learning Center School Seth Boyden News

Cooking with Jacob

Jacob Case, a 4th grader at Seth Boyden

We are incredibly proud to share that Jacob Case, a 4th-grader in Mr. Hein’s class, has been featured in Jamie Oliver’s Cooking Buddies Club! Congratulations to Jacob and his family! We’re so happy that Jamie Oliver, one of Britain’s top chefs, recognizes Jacob’s talents! 

Over the summer, Jacob made a video of harvesting nasturtiums and other edible flowers from the Strawberry Fields garden (with Ms. Tuohy’s full support and permission of course!). Jacob turned them into a delicious salad and uploaded the video to his Instagram & Facebook pages. The video was then shared in Jamie Oliver’s private Cooking Buddies Facebook group, where the team saw what a star Jacob is! Jamie Oliver’s team edited the video and shared it on Instagram so that thousands more could enjoy Jacob’s food!

Check out Jacob’s Cooking Buddies video by clicking here.  

To see Jacob cooking, you can check him out on Facebook at Cooking with Jacob or on Instagram @cookingwithjacob9.

Here’s another recipe that Jacob loves that also uses ingredients (the Swiss chard) he harvested from our school garden. 

Sautéed Swiss Chard with Steamed Butter Nut Squash: 

  1. Wash and cut the butternut squash into cubes while removing the seeds (do not peel)
  2. Steam the squash until tender but firm. Do not boil or steam squash in a lot of water to prevent it from becoming soggy
  3. Use an assortment of different colors of Swiss chard for added color
  4. Wash chards and remove the stalks
  5. Dice the chard stalks and keep separate from the leaves
  6. Roughly cut the chard leaves
  7. Add 2-4 cloves of chopped garlic and one small chopped onion to olive oil on medium heat and saute for one minute—make sure garlic doesn’t turn brown. Then add stalks and stir occasionally for about 5 minutes until soft. Add chard leaves, cover, and cook for about 3 minutes or until leaves are fully wilted while stirring occasionally.
  8. Add steamed squash and season with salt, pepper, dried herbs, and butter for extra taste. You can also use your favorite seasonings. Mix all ingredients and make sure everything is fully incorporated.
  9. Enjoy with your favorite protein or by itself!
Garden Outdoor Learning Center PTA School

Outdoor Learning Center – Fall Clean-Up

Come One, Come All
Seth Boyden Outdoor Learning Center Clean-up!

OLC Clean up kids

Looking for a way to help our school this fall? Bring the family and join the outdoor learning center clean-up!

On October 10th and 11th we’ll be weeding, watering, spreading mulch, moving logs– you get the idea!

Oct 10 – 9 am to 1 pm
Oct 11 – 1 pm to 5 pm 

Please bring your own work gloves and tools if you can (we don’t want folks sharing tools because of covid). Kids welcome! And of course, wear a mask!!

Sign up today to reserve your spot – click here

Garden Outdoor Learning Center PTA School

Tuohy Wins National Award for Early Environmental Education

Maggie Tuohy wins Elizabeth Abernathy Hull Fund for Early Environmental Education
Maggie Tuohy receiving the award on Monday. Laura Gilkey, far right, led the nomination process, and Principal Shannon Glander, left, and Vice Principal Sheila Murphy, second from right, wrote letters on her behalf as part of the application.

Maggie Tuohy, who has worked tirelessly for years to instill a love of nature in Seth Boyden students and has been instrumental in the development of our school’s garden and Outdoor Learning Center, was recognized with a prestigious national award for early environmental education on Monday.

Seth Boyden alumni parent Laura Gilkey spearheaded Maggie’s nomination for the Garden Club of America’s Elizabeth Abernathy Hull Award, which is given to only a few people in the entire country each year. Principal Shannon Glander, Vice Principal Sheila Murphy, and former PTA Vice President Alison Poe also wrote letters on Maggie’s behalf and were on hand when she was surprised with the award. (The application was kept secret from Maggie in accordance with the rules.)

Join us in congratulating Maggie on this well-deserved accolade!

Events Garden Outdoor Learning Center School Seth Boyden News

Outdoor Learning Center Work Day a Huge Success

Children's Arboretum Outdoor Learning Center PTA School Seth Boyden News

Seth Boyden Wins New Jersey PTA Environmental Awareness Award

Seth Boyden will be honored later this month at the 2019 NJPTA Leadership Convention for our amazing Outdoor Learning Center and Children’s Arboretum. The years of hard work that our community has put into these amazing natural features at our school have earned us this year’s New Jersey PTA Environmental Awareness Award.


Garden Outdoor Learning Center PTA School Seth Boyden News Volunteer Opportunities

Outdoor Clean-Up on Sunday

We are having a short (2-hour) work afternoon in our outdoor space on Sunday, Oct. 21, from 1-3pm. We want as many people as possible to show up and get things done in a short time.

We will also be cleaning up and making a nicer play space for kindergartners by the sandbox near the school, so we would love to see lots of kindergarten families participate. Sign up on this Sign Up Genius.

Fundraising Harvest Festival Outdoor Learning Center PTA School Seth Boyden News Volunteer Opportunities

Harvest Fest Is Coming Soon, and We Need Volunteers!

Harvest Fest is coming up FAST — Oct. 13 — and there are a million fun and very, very rewarding jobs to volunteer for, so what are you waiting for?

Hit the Sign Up Genius and sign up!

Susan Holtz can’t do it all herself!

Children's Arboretum Events Outdoor Learning Center School Seth Boyden News

Year-End Garden Clean-Up

arboretum last tree plantedThe last three trees were planted in the Arboretum this weekend — two willow oaks and a chestnut. With this, the Arboretum is complete!

But we still need help to maintain our wonderful outdoor space. We are planning a year-end garden cleanup event for Saturday, June 16, from 9am to 1pm.

Sign up!

Children's Arboretum Events Garden Outdoor Learning Center PTA Seth Boyden News

Photos From the Arboretum Grand Opening

Children's Arboretum Events Garden Outdoor Learning Center PTA School Seth Boyden News Volunteer Opportunities

Garden and Arboretum Workdays

benches at arboretum trailheadWe need some help wrapping up two fun projects this weekend, April 21 and 22. If you have any amount of time to help out (no amount is too small), come out and bring the kids!

You can volunteer on Sign Up Genius. If you have questions, contact Matthias Ebinger at 646-477-8341.

In the Garden

raised cedar planters in gardenEagle Scout Joe Badre built brand new cedar raised garden beds. This weekend we will be helping his troop fill them with soil. We will also be finalizing the new drip-irrigation and installing the garden’s farm bell.

Children’s Arboretum Grand Opening

All 120 trees now have fun-fact tree markers, we have built a new sitting area at the Children’s Arboretum Trailhead in the front of the school. The signage will be mounted this weekend on the trailheads and along the Nature Story Trail.

What to Bring

  • Wheelbarrows
  • Shovels
  • Adult sized gloves
  • Snacks/drinks to share
Children's Arboretum Events Garden Outdoor Learning Center PTA School Seth Boyden News

Come to Our Arboretum Grand Opening on April 27!

work weekend in the outdoor learning centerEveryone in the Seth Boyden community is invited to the grand opening of our Children’s Arboretum on Friday, April 27, at 9am. We’ll gather in the Seth Boyden backyard, and we hope to see you there!

Garden Outdoor Learning Center Seth Boyden News Volunteer Opportunities

Wood for New Planters Arrives, and We Need Volunteers!

The cedar timbers for our new garden beds have arrived all the way from Minnesota!

Joe Badre, a Seth Boyden graduate, will prepare and build the garden beds this month with his fellow Boy Scouts for his Eagle Project. The timbers will be stacked together like a log cabin and will last for a very long time!

We need help this Thursday evening from adults able to use a circular saw. We are cutting slats that the scouts will notch out on Saturday in preparation for the BIG BUILD on Saturday, April 21.

Please email Maggie Tuohy ([email protected]) or Matthias Ebinger ([email protected]) if you can lend a hand on any of the following days:

  • Thursday, April 5, 6:30-8pm GREATEST PRIORITY (bring circular saw if possible)
  • Saturday, April 7, 9:30am-12pm
  • Saturday, April 21, all day

Community Building Garden Outdoor Learning Center School Seth Boyden News Volunteer Opportunities

Save the Seedlings!

volunteer to water seedlingsWe are looking for families to help water our seedlings in the Maplewood greenhouse behind Town Hall.

It only takes five minutes once a week and is extremely important for the survival of the seedlings!

Our children planted seeds during lunch with Maggie Tuohy on Friday, March 16. All plants will be transplanted by our students into the garden in May.

Please email Elizabeth Ebinger ([email protected]) or Maggie Tuohy ([email protected]) if you can commit to one day a week of watering. We will send details to those who volunteer. Here are the times when we’ll be able to water:

  • Monday: 7pm-9pm
  • Tuesday: 1pm-4pm
  • Wednesday (greenhouse is closed)
  • Thursday: 7pm-9pm
  • Friday (greenhouse is closed)
  • Saturday: 9am-4pm
  • Sunday: 10am-4pm

Thank you to all of you who support the garden in one way or another. It truly takes a village!

Children's Arboretum Outdoor Learning Center Seth Boyden News

Remaining Tree Markers Installed on Busy Workday