W.J. Bryan Museums Magnet Elementary School Goes Green With Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Thursday, April 23, 2009


 Coral Gables, FL, April 24, 2009—On Tuesday, April 28th 2009, W.J Bryan Elementary students and staff will join Fairchild’s staff as well as other North Miami community organizations and volunteers in an extensive schoolyard planting throughout the school campus. The planting will provide a hands on learning opportunity for students as well as an ongoing learning opportunity in the classroom. As part of their program of study, different grade levels will adopt specific planting areas that they will research, label, maintain, and nurture throughout the year. Classroom activities will revolve around incorporating learning experiences throughout all curriculum areas in each grade level.

 The horticulture department at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden has been growing a specific selection of plants for the school at Fairchild’s nursery. Through this planting, Fairchild’s aims are to create a nurturing atmosphere through nature, increase tree canopy, enhance the students’ outdoor learning environment and build on learning opportunities. The plants that Fairchild selected for the school are all low in water, fertilizer and maintenance requirements. Additionally, many of the plants are species native to South Florida and will provide food and shelter for wildlife such as birds, butterflies and bees.

 Fairchild and W.J. Bryan Elementary School

This special planting event is part of a much larger partnership between William Jennings Bryan Elementary School, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, and Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Sponsored by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, W.J. Bryan has become one of three Museum Magnet schools in North Miami, along with North Miami Middle School and North Miami Senior High.

 Museums Magnet schools forge strong partnerships with local area museums and cultural institutions in Miami-Dade County. Museum educators work side by side with classroom teachers, interfacing the standards-driven curriculum with the objects and artifacts in their respective museums as well as visiting historic buildings and sites through out the county. This integrated curriculum, focusing primarily on object- and project-based learning, emphasizes problem-solving, communication, exploration, invention and inquiry through on-going visits to their museum and cultural partners. Partners include Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Haitian Heritage Museum, Historical Museum of Southern Florida, and Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA).

 About Fairchild

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is dedicated to exploring, explaining and conserving the world of tropical plants. It is one of the premier conservation and education-based gardens in the world and a recognized international leader in both Florida and international conservation. Currently Fairchild has field programs in over 20 countries including support to protected areas in Madagascar and Africa and botanic garden development and renovation projects in South and Central America, the Caribbean and Middle East. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden houses the National Palm Collection as recognized by the American Public Gardens Association (APGA), has the world’s greatest living collection of palms and cycads; an education program reaching more than 50,000 school children per year; hosts popular events like the International Chocolate Festival, International Mango Festival and International Orchid Festival, the Ramble, concerts, affiliated plant society shows and sales and more; and, is a not-for-profit organization relying on the support of its 40,000 members and benefactors. Fairchild hosts major art events such as Mark di Suvero, Fernando Botero, Dale Chihuly and Kris Martin at Fairchild this year, Botero, Lichtenstein and Chihuly at Fairchild in 2008 and Chihuly at Fairchild in 2005 and 2006. Fairchild is located at 10901 Old Cutler Road, Coral Gables (Miami), Florida 33156. Admission is $20 for adults, $15 for seniors, $10 for children 6-17 and free to children 5 and under and Fairchild members. For more information, please visit us at www.fairchildgarden.org and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fairchild-Tropical-Botanic-Garden/21557931711.

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