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 Picture Day PTA School Volunteer Opportunities

School Picture Day June 7 & 8

School Photos are coming June 7 & 8! — REGISTER TODAY

When: June 7 & 8 (your child’s teacher will email you the day closer to picture day)

Where: In the garden at Seth Boyden

Register: Use this link (password Sethboyden21) to register by June 6

IMPORTANT: Remember you need to register for your child(ren) to be photographed even if the photos are being taken during the school day. When registering, please use the full name your child used to register for school (ex: use “James,” not “Jimmie”)

Volunteers needed!

Please sign up if you can help with the school picture days of June 7 & 8

We are so excited to be able to offer individual student portraits this year! … In our gorgeous, blooming Seth Boyden garden!

In-person students will be photographed during school hours.

All families who have remained virtual will be able to come in the afternoon for photos if they wish by signing up for a time slot here:

(Group class photos will not be offered this year.)

All in-person students are photographed. If you do not place an order by June 6 you will receive a proof. You can then place an order using the proof information provided. Please note: there will be a $7 shipping fee for orders placed after picture day.

More information about the photographer Peter Collura is on the attached flier. 

CDC guidelines to ensure a safe picture day include: working outdoors, social distance from students and staff, masks on photographers, and sanitizing picture area as needed. 

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!
Achieve Foundation Garden Newsletter School Seth Boyden News

Achieve Foundation Grants

The Achieve Foundation is thrilled to award grants to educators across the district this October for 36 projects totaling $43,623! Winning grants included professional development programs, technology equipment, electronic and physical books, and other educational materials.

Last week, Achieve presented checks to these amazing Seth Boyden teachers:

• Maggie Tuohy for “From Garbage to Garden”
• Shella Mesidor-Villard for “Equity Institute: Advancing Racial Equity in Education Workshop”
• Dianne Canzonieri and Elana Ris for “Magnificent Mathematicians”
• Marissa DeMartino for “Fun with Phonics”
• Sarah Haldeman for “Multicultural Literature for Social Emotional Learning and Anti-Bias Discourse”
• Susan Brody for “Book Clubs Need Better Books”
• Sarah Fakhoury and Jesse Hein for “Let’s Talk About Race”
• Erica Dulny for “High Interest, Low Level Books”
• Erica Dulny for “Serious About Series!”
• Janine Poutre and Catherine Campbell (So. Mountain) for “Audible Battle of the Books”

Congratulations to these educators for receiving over $9,315 in funding for our students this fall!

Achieve board president Christine Houseworth (far left) and grants committee co-chair Hilary Jones-Danziger (far right) presented checks to Seth Boyden educators: Dianne Korte Canzonieri, Shella Mesidor-Villard, Sarah Haldeman, and Janine Guida Poutre.

Susan Brody received over $1,000 from the Achieve Foundation of South Orange and Maplewood for her “Book Clubs Need Better Books” grant.
Achieve board president Christine Houseworth, executive director Eileen Collins Neri and grants co-chair Hilary Jones-Danziger took to Seth Boyden’s gorgeous garden to present Maggie Tuohy with a $2,435 grant for her “Garbage to Garden” program.
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 Harvest Festival School Seth Boyden News

Harvest Fest 2019

Seth Boyden Outdoor Learning Center at 2019 Harvest Fest

Our Harvest Fest was once again a fantastic day!

We owe a huge thanks to Sabena Khan and Lysna Marzani for organizing the entire event, and to the many families who helped with food, games, activities, setup and clean up!

The MAC scholars from CHS, many of whom were Seth Boyden alums, also volunteered and were incredibly helpful. It was great to have them back!

Check out our photos, courtesy of Anna Herbst, Carrie Puglisi and Alison Poe, on our Facebook page.

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

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.

Events Fundraising Garden Newsletter PTA School Seth Boyden News

What You Need to Know This Week

No School on Monday or Tuesday

All district schools are closed for Rosh Hashanah on Monday and Tuesday.

Wednesday Is 4-Hour Day, Back to School Night

We have a 12:45 dismissal on Wednesday, and Back to School Night starts at 6pm. We encourage all parents to come meet our wonderful teachers and find out what’s in store for our students this year!

Ice Cream Social Friday Night

Our Ice Cream Socials are always some of the most fun nights of the year, so you don’t want to miss this event! In addition to ice cream, we’ll have pizza and drinks for sale. The kids have a blast, and it’s a great opportunity for parents to meet each other and socialize. You can also stock up on the latest SB merch and sign up for the PTA.

Lunch Menu

Wondering what’s for lunch? Here’s the September elementary lunch menu.

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!

Garden Outdoor Learning Center PTA School Seth Boyden News Volunteer Opportunities

OLC Work Day on March 3

arboretum tree markerPlease join us this Saturday, March 3, as we prepare the Seth Boyden Arboretum for its official April launch. We will be installing arboretum tree-marker bricks and plant labels. Bring your kids and they can have a large play date while you help.

This day will involve some light work and some heavy lifting. Many bags of cement are being delivered to the school, so we need all the muscle we can get!

If you have any amount of time to contribute, no matter how small, then sign up on SignUp Genius, and help us spread the word by asking other families to join the fun.

What to bring:

  • Work gloves (we have child sizes)
  • Wheelbarrow, optional (email [email protected] if you can bring one)
  • Large shovel, optional
  • Snacks/drinks to share, optional
Garden Outdoor Learning Center School Seth Boyden News

Braving the Cold in the OLC