In 2005, a Longfellow teacher received a grant that began the transformation of an asphalt courtyard into the amazing garden we see today. Over the course of several years, and with the financial support from the School Grounds Greening Coalition, Longfellow PTO, business partners, and a large anonymous donation, the area behind the school was turned into a living schoolyard for Longfellow students.
All grades and classes use the Longfellow garden as an outdoor classroom.
The garden provides a vibrant, ecologically diverse habitat for native pollinators and birds, and includes raised planting beds, a pond, a wisteria-covered arbor with seating, a storage shed, a greenhouse, and a native pollinator garden, the latter of which was created with the support of Maine Audubon.
Our living schoolyard is used to drive curriculum projects such as:
- Climate change and carbon storage lessons
- Ecology studies
- Indigenous knowledge and culture studies
- Investigating animals, adaptations, and habitats
- Native pollinator studies
- Planting Three Sisters Gardens
- Planting and harvesting carrots and potatoes as a part of Maine studies; these are then served in our school lunches!
- Regenerative agriculture studies
- Soil testing
- Studying the pond, wind, and weather
- Sustainable yardscaping and water quality research to improve the garden and our community
- and many other subjects that are vital to our students’ learning and living in the world!