Garrison Forest School welcomed two colonies of bees to campus on April 12 as part of a grant received from the Central Maryland Beekeeping Association. GFS senior Amanda Fruman had the idea to bring the bees to campus and worked with Upper School science teacher Dr. Brian Blair to write and secure grants for the hives. Amanda also founded a beekeeping club, which now has 30 members ready to help the bees adjust to their new home.
The bees will provide an outdoor learning opportunity for students in every division of the school. The Upper School Animal Science class will use the hives to learn about the behavior, ecology and biology of bees and plans are already in place to work with Lower Division science classes. The school’s Green Club will work in conjunction with the Beekeeping Club to provide good pollinators as they plant a garden on campus. The bees may be able to provide honey by next fall.
The apiary is the newest addition to the school’s continued sustainability and outdoor education program on its 110-acre campus. In spring 2017, the school began housing 10 chickens in student-designed chicken coops which tie into curriculum across each division of the school and engage students in learning about responsible animal care, food production and nutrition.
In November 2016, GFS completed construction on an outdoor classroom, the Grizzly Den, geared toward younger children. Preschool and Lower school students use the outdoor classroom to learn biology, sustainability, engineering and much more. GFS families, faculty, staff and others have opportunities throughout the year to volunteer or become involved in these outdoor initiatives, creating a hands-on learning experience for the entire community.
For more information about the Garrison Forest School, visit the website at https://www.gfs.org/.
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