Lending a Helping Hand
Building a sensory garden
The New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association (NJLCA) has just completed their 2015 Day of Service project at The Forum School, located in Waldwick, New Jersey.
The Forum School is a private, non-profit, non-sectarian day school for children with Autism and other neurological dysfunctions. More than 40 organizations donated and offered their products and services to provide an outdoor classroom and sensory garden for the students at The Forum School.
Each year, members of the NJLCA volunteer their time and donate equipment and materials for their Day of Service project to help children in local communities. This year, The Forum School was chosen for the NJLCA DOS project.
The inspiration for the project came from Danielle Goldstein, an Occupational Therapy Assistant major at Eastwick College, and daughter of Rich Goldstein, Treasurer of the NJLCA.
The school requested a sensory garden to help teachers educate students about the different senses, using plant material with different colors, textures and scents and garden structures. A pondless water fountain and colorful “talk-tube” were incorporated in the garden, but the NJLCA didn’t stop there. An entire outdoor classroom was built, including built-in seating and raised planters.
NJLCA Executive Director Jody Chilan, who designed the project, commented, “Our members really enjoy working together and giving back to local communities. These projects truly are a labor of love and I am always so impressed with the generosity of our association members.”
Brian Detlefsen, Principal of The Forum School expressed his gratitude as well, “When we first saw the plans, we expected a nice, colorful perennial garden for our students and teachers. However, now that the project is complete, we are amazed at how beautiful the outdoor classroom is. We can’t wait to start using it.”
“A child’s life is like a piece of paper on which every person leaves a mark.”