Plainfield Garden Club

2013-10-25 and 2013-11-01 "Hands-to-Nature" Program

Much appreciation and thanks for the following members that volunteered to assist the Plainfield Jefferson School third-graders at the "Hands-to-Nature" program at the Reeves Reed Arboretum:

October 25, 2013
Brenda Anderson
Kathy Andrews
Mary Kent
Gail Sloan

November 1, 2013
Kathy Andrews
Mary Kent
Diana Madsen
Gail Sloan
Nina Weil

And a special "thank you" to Kathy & Gail for meeting at least one classroom of the Jefferson third-graders at the Shakespeare Garden on October 8th.

"For every Plainfield child that steps into the Shakespeare Garden, we are one step closer to preservation."

November 1, 2013

Emily with children talking about seeds and how they travel.

Photo by Gail Sloan

November 1, 2013

Barbara with children talking about plants to eat. (Adults in the photos are Reeves Reed instructors.)

Photo by Gail Sloan

November 1, 2013

Children with instructor in the greenhouse.

Photo by Gail Sloan

October 25, 2013

Gail Sloan, co-President of the Plainfield Garden Club with Plainfield's Jefferson School third graders and a Reeves Reed volunteer

Photo by Gail Sloan

October 25, 2013

Kathy Andrews, Plainfield Garden Club Civic Projects Chair with Plainfield's Jefferson School third graders.

Photo by Gail Sloan

All the children recognized Gail and Kathy from their recent trip to the Shakespeare Garden. While approaching the Reeves Reed herb garden, Gail reported that the children shouted, "Lamb's Ears!! You can use those for Bad Aids!!" Ah, the things they learn from the Plainfield Garden Club!

October 25, 2013


Photo by Gail Sloan

October 25, 2013


Photo by Gail Sloan

October 25, 2013

Hands to Nature Report from Gail: Today was a lot of fun with the students at Reeves Reed. When the kids arrived they were broken into several groups of 6-8 students. Brenda, Kathy and I went with different groups. There were about 5 stations throughout the grounds with a short lesson given at each station i.e. herb garden, maple tree sap, green house where they planted their own seeds. We acted as chaperons even though there were chaperons and teachers from the school. Reeves Reed staff and volunteers acted as instructors. We broke from the groups to meet in the kitchen to help prepare lunch. Made lemonade, cut up apples and celery. Main course was pizza. After the students were fed they brought in some animals...a dove, skunk, porcupine and snake. That was so much fun. The guy was great! Cant remember where he was from...sorry. With the skunk he tricked the kids into thinking the skunk had sprayed them. Hilarious. Took some pictures. Mary arrived toward the end. Looking forward to next week!
Hopefully Brenda and Kathy will send you pictures too.

Click here to see all the fun!


September 29, 2013

We learned this past Saturday, that the Jefferson School children that we have sponsored for the Hands to Nature program at the Reeves Reed Arboretum, will coincidentally also be visiting the Shakespeare Garden this coming week.

One of the third grade teachers, Melissa Logan, has asked if a few members could be on hand to lead the children through the garden on these dates. Please complete the survey below as to your availability. The schedule will be kept on the CALENDAR.

The curriculum for this field trip is "Plainfield History" so any tidbits on the historical aspects of the garden that you could toss off would be most appreciated by the teachers.


Please consider volunteering! Every time we can introduce a Plainfield child to the Shakespeare Garden, we are investing in it's preservation.

Must gently be preserved, cherish'd, and kept:
King Richard III: II, ii

September 27, 2013

The PGC Executive Board is pleased to announce the approval of an $800 expenditure to sponsor approximately 100 Plainfield school children (from Jefferson School, located in Plainfield's West End, only 3 miles from the Shakespeare Garden) to participate in the Reeves Reed Arboretum's "Hands to Nature" program taking place on Friday, October 25 and again on Friday, November 1st.

The Hands to Nature program brings elementary school children to the Arboretum for a field trip in environmental science. Children participate in several hands-on, outdoor activities revolving around science and the natural world. Our sponsorship will fund two bus trips, morning snacks and lunches for approximately 100 Plainfield children and their teachers.

In addition, the Arboretum would love to have PGC members function as Guides and assist with Lunch Set-up.

When the children arrive at the Arboretum, they will be divided into five groups, approximately 5 - 8 children per group, and guided through 5 activities in various areas around the grounds. Each group is led by a docent, but the arboretum encourages anyone interested to accompany a small group as a Guide. "This is a fun and rewarding experience, and no teaching or botanical experience is necessary."

The Arboretum also asks that 3 - 5 PGC members be on hand to set-up lunch and distribute to the children. The arrival time for lunch set-up is 11 AM. Lunch will be served at 12 PM and volunteers are asked to stay until 1 PM when the children depart.

If you are interested in being a Guide or assisting with Lunch Set-up, please click this RSVP.

When we asked the Director of Children's Education, Jackie Kondell, what would happen if the PGC would not sponsor these trips, here was her response: To answer your question, yes these children will still be able to attend without your financial support; however I will need to reallocate monies that were earmarked for other groups that do not have garden club support to come next spring. I am hoping to expand the program into Plainfield rather than replacing Newark classes with Plainfield ones.

O this learning, what a thing it is!
The Taming of the Shrew: I, ii

November 22, 2013 Hands to Nature Thank You and Receipt

Jackie Kondel
10:56 AM (4 hours ago)

to me

Attached please find a letter thanking the Garden Club and its members for its support of the Hands to Nature program. I was very pleased to introduce this program to the Plainfield Schools and look forward to bringing their classes again next year.

Also attached is an invoice. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks so much,


Jackie Kondel
Director of Children's Education
Reeves-Reed Arboretum
(908) 273-8787 x 1515

2013-11-22 Reeves Reed Arboretum Thank You and Receipt

November 28, 2013 Thank You from Jefferson School Principal

from: Burkholder, Scot <>
to: "" <>,
Jackie Kondel <>
cc: "Logan, Melissa" <>,
"Nagel-Smiley, Cheryl" <>,
"Lynton, Nichoela" <>,
"Molnar, Bridget" <>
date: Tue, Nov 26, 2013 at 8:37 AM
subject: Thank You

Good Morning - Susan Fraser and Jackie Kondel,
I just wanted to take a brief moment to write a quick email to thank you both for your efforts to provide my students with a wonderful field trip free of charge to the Arboretum recently. Our students really enjoyed the trip and came back not only excited about what they saw but ready to WRITE about it. These types of experiences are invaluable for kids who don't always have the chance to leave city limits and broaden their horizons! Again, thank you for your support of Jefferson's students and we look forward to working with you again in the future,

Scot R Burkholder
Principal - Jefferson Elementary School
1750 West Front St.
Plainfield, NJ 07063
(908) 731- 4250
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"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it" - George Bernard Shaw

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