Albany High unveils Falcon Farms
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
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.
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
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