Project Update: Labyrinth Healing Garden at Sarah Noble Intermediate School, New Milford CT

As part of a nationwide “Day of Service” initiated by national Professional Landcare Network (PLANET) Lawn and Landscape Association, YardApes selected Sarah Noble Intermediate School in New Milford CT to transform the school’s courtyard into a healing garden and outdoor classroom.  A labyrinth was chosen as the center of the outdoor classroom not simply for the expansive curricula opportunities its design offers elementary education but, as our founder, Shayne Newman, explains, “…even more progressive—children are encouraged to walk labyrinths before tests to alleviate anxiety or during particularly challenging times to de-stress. If two students are engaged in conflict, they will be asked to walk the labyrinth together. That’s powerful.”

Poly-resin log seats surround the labyrinth forming an outdoor classroom.  The twenty-six seats poignantly hold the space in remembrance of those who lost their lives at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  “The Serenity Circle” is dedicated to the grand daughter of a Sarah Noble Intermediate School educator who died at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Turfgrass Installation

Healing Garden & Outdoor Classroom Description

Volunteers installed a 16-ft, five-circuit, Belgium block labyrinth, along with a pink-flowering dogwood, and a new lawn from seed.

  • Biodegradable template used for the labyrinth’s pattern from Natural Playgrounds Company
  • 16-ft, five-circuit, Belgium block labyrinth (donated by YardApes)
  • 26 rustic poly-resin log seats (funds granted by the PTO)
  • Seeded a new lawn (YardApes)
  • Pink flowering dogwood (chosen for project by YardApes/donated by the Connecticut Master Gardener Association)
  • Programmable sprinkler timer (donated by YardApes)

SNIS principal, Dr. Leonard Tomascello—“Dr. T” as he’s affectionately called—wrote to Shayne, expressing his gratitude for our efforts. He ended his letter by writing the healing garden is a “wonderful tribute to the children and colleagues in Newtown.”

Volunteers for the landscaping project:

YardApes volunteers: Shayne Newman, Ramiro Parra, Rodolfo Tepan, James Ryerse, and Ava Newman.

Brookfield BNI Business Bobcat volunteers:

Special thanks to:

  • Denise Cregier for thoughtfully photographing the SNIS site throughout the day.
  • The Pelletiers and  JoJo’s Deli for providing lunch at the SNIS site.

We believe everyone everywhere benefits from a connection with nature.