350 5th Avenue, Brooklyn

Prospect Park

Brooklyn, Compost, brooklyncompost, "private institution"

MS 51/Old Stone House

MS 51

"William Alexander Middle School 51 is a diverse community of dedicated administrators, teachers, staff and concerned parents that strive to create a welcome, nurturing, and inclusive environment for students to learn and grow.  William Alexander Middle School 51 welcomes students with a demonstrated ability and willingness to excel.  Teachers encourage high academic standards, the active engagement of students, and community involvement.  The school’s educational mission is to find a balance between academic challenge and social skill building."[1] 


 "[2] T he Partnership Gardens program between MS 51 and The Old Stone House began in 2005.  Over 600 students flood the Park during lunch hour and we recognized the need to include them in our community stewardship plan.  Jody Reiss, a science teacher at MS 51 had planted a memorial garden with students and parents in response to 9/11.  An after-school garden club cared for the space and was interested in planting more of the schoolyard.  Claudia Joseph joined them and the gardens grew.  A Con Ed Green grant  allowed for classroom education sessions and the purchase of perennial plant material that began the foundation of our History and Habitat gardens.</p> <p>The following year, 2005, brought the special education students of Mitchell Porcelan and Joe Valentin to the garden to help in all aspects of garden construction, planning and planting.  We found that their 2 hours class period was a good framework for completing projects.  The students responded with enthusiasm and learning took place on many levels, science, history and community care were woven into the field activities.

In 2009 we added three classes of combined Social Studies and Science.  The students were surveyed before the lessons began; many had never considered community service as a rewarding activity.  Garden experience varied among students but they unanimously enjoyed our outdoor classroom.

Also in 2009, The Old Stone House partnered with Brooklyn Botanic Garden's Compost Program and master composter Jon Pope led a group of volunteers to build three industrial sized, rodent proof bins at the School. Claudia Joseph originated the Pumpkin and Leaf Reclaiming Project to address organic waste that occurs every autumn.  Turning waste to benefit through the compost process is a cornerstone of every healthy garden.  We collected over 100 pumpkins, combined them with shredded leaves from our site and filled one bin.  The second bin was filled with garden waste from the School.  The third bin is being filled with waste from Rose Water restaurant and will be part of the science fair project.  Special thanks to John Tucker for bringing that material to our site!</p> <p>The garden education program continues in 2010 and 2011 with more classes and more schools participating."

  1.  MS 51. " http://ms51.org". Accessed 8.26.2011
  2.  New York Permaculture Exchange. "http://permaculture-exchange.org/partnership-gardens-with-ms-51' Accessed 8.26.2011 http://www.ms51.org

Brooklyn Compost Collective



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