Saturday, August 29, 2015

Volunteer for the 2015-16 Garden Committee

School is back in session and it's time to assemble the new Skyview Harmony Garden Committee! Many of you have expressed a desire to help manifest Skyview's musical outdoor learning environment and we're ready to dig in!

The committee will meet once a month through the fall as we finalize plans with the district, secure our renewable water source, solicit donations and fundraise. We want everything to be ready by April 2016 for our official ground breaking. Please come be a part of this exciting development. Join the Harmony Garden Committee, collaborate with your neighbors and help your neighborhood school BLOOM!

If you're interested in being a part of the Harmony Garden Committee at Skyivew, please send an email to Sarah Greenman, the committee chair, at or reach out via Facebook:

 Thank you and we look forward to hearing from you!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Community Partners | Exchange Club of Lake Highlands

Today Skyview's principal, Ingrid Dodd, and PTA President-Elect, Sarah Greenman, accepted a grant of $4,000 on behalf of the Skyview Harmony Garden. The Exchange Club of Lake Highlands is a local service organization dedicated to youth, community service and citizenship programs. Their generous contribution to the overall budget of the Skyview Harmony Garden is an exciting development for the Skyview Outdoor Learning Environment (OLE). The Exchange Club will also be with us for the ground-breaking (loosely scheduled for September of 2015) contributing volunteer hours in the garden. We're so grateful for the Exchange Club's support and ongoing participation.

Additionally, the Exchange Club honored two star Skyview students during their awards breakfast. Both recipients, Kevin and Valery, were chosen due to their academic success, leadership and spirit of excellence. Here are some photos from the awards breakfast.

Principal Dodd and Valery

Principal Dodd and Kevin's Mother

Sarah Greenman and Brent Basden

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Slow & Steady

It goes without saying that building a garden from the ground up is a lot of work. But building a school garden from the ground up requires even more. Right now, our school garden project is in the planning stages. Our Outdoor Learning Environment proposal has received wonderful support from the community and from the school district representatives assisting us along the way. However, codes, compliance, zoning, permits, plans, budgets and more must all be attended to before we start building.

The Skyview PTA wants you to know that we are currently in this long and very important part of the process. Taking our time to carefully plan and fund the garden is key to creating a lasting impact. Financial and human capital must be in place before we take a shovel to the proposed garden space. Thank you for your ongoing support as we walk through this process step by step.

Remember there are lots of way that you can help. Financial donations are happily accepted, but even more than that, we want your participation. When the garden is fully approved by the district, we'll need bodies and brains to help us install the garden in phases and maintain the space once it's in place. As you look ahead to your fall calendar, please consider setting aside some volunteer hours at the Skyview Harmony Garden. There will be lots of rewarding opportunities to pitch in.

Stay tuned!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Dream Big | The Proposed Garden Layout

To view a larger version of the layout, please click on the image.

The French poet and journalist, Anatole France, once wrote, "To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe." With funding efforts for the Skyview Harmony Garden well under way, it's time to look at the garden itself and consider the shape it might take. Before our little dream can be approved by the school district, we must submit a proposed layout.

Today, Sarah Greenman (PTA Co-President and Garden Committee Chair), met with Curtis Scoggins (local landscape architect), to go over a proposed plan. After reviewing Greenman's design ideas, Scoggins drafted a beautiful plan that incorporates all of the proposed Outdoor Learning Environment (OLE) elements: vegetable garden, butterfly habitat, musical instrument installation area, shade structure, shed storage, rain collection system and compost area. Scoggins is the first of many community partners who are donating their time and expertise to the Skyview (OLE).

The proposed plan embodies our hope and intention for the Harmony Garden. We want the Skyview (OLE) to be a space that nourishes our students' sense of wonder and possibility. Gloria Steinem says, "Without leaps of imagination or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning." Please join us in taking this imaginative leap. Great things lie ahead.

To support our efforts, please visit us at Donor's Choose.
You can also contact the Harmony Garden Committee at

Additionally, you can follow us on social media: 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Instruments for the Harmony Garden

Music is a universal language that everyone can speak and understand. One of the major components of the Skyview Harmony Garden will be a musical installation similar to the ones pictured above. These instruments will provide children and adults of all ages and abilities the opportunity to interact through spontaneous creative expression.

The Skyview Elementary Harmony Garden fundraising efforts are already underway. Our music teacher, Mr. Aeschbacher, set up Donor's Choose site to help fund the first of the instruments. We are raising money for a set of durable Tubano drums, designed for outdoor use. These drums, when hit, produce an earthy sound that resonates throughout the garden. We will eventually pair these drums with other melodic instruments, all tuned to each other so that they never clash.

This project qualifies for the SPARK match: For the next five days, when someone donates to the project and enters the code SPARK, will match their donation dollar for dollar. Donate by March 2, 2015 and use the promo code SPARK during checkout to double our donations to the project (up to $100).

P.S. Donor's Choose will ask you, during check out, what percent of your donation you want to donate towards Donor's Choose. Remember to chose "0" so that the total donation goes to the garden project.

Donate HERE and don't forget your code: SPARK
Thank you for your support!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Proposed Garden Site

We're so excited to kick start the planning and fundraising 
phase of the Skyview Elementary Harmony Garden! 

Wait, what? Skyview is building a garden!?!  

Yes! The Skyview Elementary PTA is endeavoring to create a music garden on the Skyview campus in Dallas, TX. This space would feature both a vegetable garden and an installation of outdoor musical instruments. This is not a playground, but rather an outdoor learning environment (OLE) for Skyview students, staff and families.

The initial goal for the garden is to fund and install three to four musical structures that would anchor the garden layout. We would start with 4-6 raised beds and work our way up to 8-10. Our raised beds will be constructed by neighborhood volunteers, Skyview Harmony Garden partners and Skyview families. Our focus will be on 100% organic gardening, with the primary concentration on organic edible gardening by seed planting or transplanting-- with a secondary interest in flowers and a butterfly habitat. Our goal is to involve all the teachers and students and to fully integrate the OLE into the daily curriculum, providing multi- disciplinary learning, aligned with state and national education standards.

The Proposed Site

The area identified for the garden is located behind the school in a U-shaped alcove just outside of the gym. The proposed area is clearly defined by the walls of the school and ends at the sidewalk. The area is roughly 50 feet x 70 feet. The site is located within an area that has access to water, but we are interested in using a rainwater collection system. The sunlight in the specified area is conducive to our needs and receives at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. The area is easily accessible and conveniently located behind the school, away from busy streets and parking lots.

Are you as excited as we are about the Skyview Garden?
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