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Albany High unveils Falcon Farms

ALBANY, N.Y. (June 7, 2017) -- A grassy patch of land tucked beside Albany High School has been transformed into Falcon Farms, an organic garden and outdoor classroom.

 

And the teachers and students who made it happen gathered on Wednesday for an official opening and sampling of home-grown veggies.

 

The project is the brainchild of teacher Larry Bizzarro, who in 2013 used a grant to begin a gardening project for his AP Environmental Science students. The goal: to teach them about agriculture, crop management, pest management and growing and eating their own food.

 

The garden began with a handful of raised beds near the North Main Avenue entrance to the school that were planted and cared for Bizzarro and his students. English as a new language teacher Mary Creedon and her students pitched in with maintenance, as well.

 

Getting water to the beds was a problem, though. So last spring Bizzarro teamed up with Brent Cady, who teaches architecture and engineering. Cady and his students drew up blueprints for nine raised beds, benches, stairs to serve as seats, a bird feeding station and a sign.

 

Together, the teachers and their students built a new and expanded garden closer to the school and a water source.

 

Bizzarro and his students also recently released butterflies to help pollinate the garden and ladybugs to keep pests in check. And Creedon hatched three chicks that will spend time in the garden as they grow.

 

“Everyone has been working really hard on the project and we’re all very proud of what we’ve accomplished so far,” Bizzarro said.

 

Staff and students will weed and water the garden during the summer and other school breaks, Bizzarro said. He also said he envisions the garden expanding every year.

  

Click here to see a Facebook album of photos from the day. (You don’t need a Facebook account to view the photos. A window may display the text “To see more from Albany City Schools on Facebook, log in or create an account,” but this can be dismissed by clicking “not now.”)  

 

The mission of the City School District of Albany is to educate and prepare all students for college and career, citizenship and life, in partnership with our diverse community. The district serves more than 9,600 students in 17 elementary, middle and high schools. In addition to neighborhood schools, the district includes several magnet schools and programs, as well as other innovative academic opportunities for students, including four themed academies at Albany High School.

         
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