Kimberly Bracken put out the word and several volunteers showed up to plant fruit trees at the new soon-to-be-inaugurated outdoor classroom at the Children’s Museum today.
The grand opening will be from 11a to 12p on Thursday, May 17 with a public celebration featuring a woven basket hut, earth mounds, a rain barrel, raised planting beds, musical instruments and educational signage.
The basket hut will be made from invasive Norway maple tree cuttings harvested from Frick Park, the raised beds and decking are made from wood sourced locally and plantings focused on native and edible species.
Kimberly forwarded this description from the Children's Museum:
"Artist Indigo Raffel will join youth volunteers and representatives from the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful and Waste Management, Inc. to put the finishing touches on the woven Basket Hut and adorn it with positive wishes for the earth."
The space now has peach, apple, plum and pluot trees, thanks to work by Kimberly and volunteers Jaymes Judd, Sara Hillegass, Rachel Cook and Jana Thompson.
This photo shows Sara and Jaymes stabilizing the bare-root saplings in their holes. The seedlings came from Pennsylvania nurseries.
Kimberly, the youth and community program coordinator at the museum, initiated an herb and vegetable garden around the front of the building in 2010, It was installed with help from the Pittsburgh Project’s Lots of Hope and Mindy Schwartz of Garden Dreams Nursery in Wilkinsburg and paid for with grants from the General Mills Foundation, Allegheny County Health Department and Nickelodeon.
Work on the outdoor classroom started last fall, with a grant from Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful and Waste Management, Inc.
Another permaculture berry patch is growing at the exit of the Buhl doors, with blueberries, strawberries, paw paw trees, etc. that was installed May 2011 and was funded by Alcoa.
The link to Kimberly's Garden blog is http://garden.pittsburghkids.
Meanwhile, the new Allegheny Public Square Park is starting to look more like the schematic design the museum showed at capital campaign events and public sessions leading up to the dismantling of the ‘60s era plaza it's replacing.
The sunken fountain is filled in, new stone fixtures are being laid and dozens of young trees were bobbing around on a stiff breeze this afternoon as workmen crunched old concrete.
That big kitschy blue sculpture thing is still there and I'm told it likely will stay there because the city doesn't want to haul it off. In a way, it will be good to have it left behind as a reminder of the transience of the last good idea.
The light was too weird for me to take a photo, but here’s a copy of the design I found on the Children’s Museum site.