all those who lost their lives on 9-11-01 as well as those lost in the fight against terrorism
Whispering Pines Elementary’s Friendship and Tolerance Garden
Update September, 2016
15 years following 9-11 Whispering Pines Elementary’s Friendship and Tolerance Garden has remained an active educational setting. Dedicated in 2002, the garden honors all those who lost their lives on 9-11-01 as well as those who died and continue to die in the fight against terrorism. This is an on-going memorial intended to remind us about tolerance and respecting each other and friendship. The memorial is unique. The design calls for renewed plantings that offer an opportunity for us to reflect on our friendships. Each student continues to wish for tolerance and peace which is permanently reflected in this memorial. A plaque is located in the center of the garden by our school symbol a unicorn. Under the unicorn is a time capsule that was created in 2002 containing letters and pictures from students that reflect their feelings, a letter from Governor Jeb Bush, and other patriotic items.
Students feel a strong responsibility and ownership for caring for the garden and our environment. The Garden Club of 40 students meet twice a month to plant and maintain the garden. Students in the Garden Club act as “Garden Experts” to teach other students in their class about the importance of new plants in the garden
Commitment to our garden was demonstrated in 2011, when due to the campus expansion the garden was going to be destroyed. Students, parents and faculty joined together to physically relocate the garden. Each handprint stepping stone was move to create a new walkway along with the plants.
As an educational setting, the garden has 4 main areas, a butterfly sanctuary, wildflowers, vegetables, and an eclectic. Teachers regularly take their class to designated teaching areas in the Friendship and Tolerance Garden to read books, plant flowers, teach the importance of caring for the environment and understand how to utilized the environment for science experiments and learning such as finding caterpillars and raising them in their classroom to become butterflies and then releasing them back into the garden. The vegetable garden shows students how food is grown and the importance of eating healthy.
The garden is used during special holidays that include 9-11, Memorial Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday and Veteran’s Day. The garden is decorated with red, white and blue items, books are there for teachers to read and student’s walk through the garden to notice how different plants grow, support and live together and so should we.
Friday September 9, 2016, students and staff at Whispering Pines Elementary commemorated the events of 9-11. The focal point of the program was The Friendship and Tolerance Garden. Students planted red, white and blue flowers, donated by Home Depot, to create and American Flag. They also placed a variety of flowers in a vase to symbolize multiculturalism and illustrate how we can all live together in harmony. In addition, while in the garden, classes read grade level appropriate books discussing friendship and the events of 9-11.
Other events included a school wide program that included a message by Principal Mrs. Riemer telling about the events of 9-11, students singing patriotic songs, a video about 9-11, a PowerPoint presentation depicting the development of the Friendship and Tolerance Garden and participation in the "National Anthem Sing-A-Long" a powerful event honoring September 11.
9/11 now a lesson in patriotism - http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/palm-beach/fl-september-11-classroom-…
Schools, School Board Commemorate Patriot’s Day with Events - https://www.palmbeachschools.org/districtnews/2016/09/09/schools-school…
The garden is dedicated to all those who lost their lives on 9-11-01 as well as those lost in the fight against terrorism. This is an on-going memorial intended to remind us about tolerance and honoring friendship. The memorial is unique. The design calls for renewed plantings that offer an opportunity for us to reflect on our friendships. Each student has offered a wish for tolerance and peace which is permenantly reflected in this memorial. There are four hundred individual handprints and names marking the garden's stepping stones. There is a deep commitment by both the students and faculty to use this garden and care for it overtime. Reason site was selected: This site was overgrown by weeds. In August of 2002, we felt we really needed to "do something" on this vacant space. At one time the site had been used by our pre-Kindergarden class to plant vegetables and flowers. During these troubled times, the group thought it was a good opportunity to return to this spirit to honor tolerance and promote friendship. Many people in the community donated their time and expertise to make this project happen. Events planned for site: There are many activities planned for this memorial. The students have started a memorial book as a guide to the garden. The gardening club is coordinating an after-school "after-care" program. And we have begun a program called "Growing Friendship - Planting Seeds," to celebrate the diversity of plants that are living together in our garden. This garden has already inspired many good ideas to help us teach tolerance in our schools and ocmmunity. We also recognize important environmental issues such as our recent drought. This year we have initiated a program where students can donate a plant to help with the drought. Each student that donates a plant will receive a photograph of their plant and a certificate of appreciation. Do you believe your memorial is a sacred place?: Ground Zero is a sacred place. Our memorial is a place we enjoy and celebrate peace, tolerance and friendship.