The Bears Care Garden was featured on Beachwood Elementary School’s Primary News

Mrs. Theresa Lindemann, Bears Care Garden Coordinator, was interviewed by the Beachwood Elementary Primary News Team about the garden for the Feb. 19 2016 broadcast. The garden segment begins at the 19 minute mark in this video.

Thank you, Beachwood Elementary School Primary News!

Hi, I’m Tommy.

And I’m Rebecca, we are here with a Beachwood parent, Mrs. Lindemann, to talk about an exciting project that is going on at our school.

Mrs. Lindemann, could you tell us exactly what the Bears Care Garden is?

Well, the Bears Care Garden is a school garden in which there’s going to be garden beds surrounding an outdoor classroom. In the middle here, there are going to be benches and it will provide an opportunity for place based learning.

Who came up with the idea for this garden?

I can’t take credit for the idea. The idea has actually been around since the late 1900’s, it started to decrease in popularity after the 2nd world war. I also know that a lot of parents in the school, before I was even a parent here were tossing around the idea but I think everything just came together this year.

***(Theresa Lindemann may not take credit for the garden in this interview but she has really been the heart and soul of the project so far. Her passion, dedication and hard work have been the driving force to organize the effort to get this garden started and we THANK HER and we are very grateful for all that she has done to make the Bears Care Garden project successful!)***

After the 1970’s it started regrowing in popularity and then this idea of place based learning has come out the past few years.

What work has been done so far and who is doing it?

A team of dedicated Beachwood Bears installing the fence and mixing in fertilizer... March 13, 2016
A team of dedicated Beachwood Bears installing the fence and mixing in fertilizer… March 13, 2016
You can kind of see that we are in progress here. We are in the space right now and the group of parent volunteers laid the bricks to build the raised garden beds and the compost came from Beachwood municipal donated the compost and helped put it in place. The fence is in progress, we’ll be working on that again in the middle of March. So it’s a little in the process, but that’s where we are at.

Also, we are doing some fundraising. We are going to have engraved brick walkways. Also, in March, some classes are going to start planting seeds in the classroom and then after spring break the rest of the classes will start planting seeds. So we are still planning.

Where are you getting the materials and supplies needed for this garden?

A lot of the materials have been by generous donations so far. All of the cement bricks were a personal donation from a family. The compost was a donation from the municipality of Beachwood, thank you. Everything has been donated so far. We are also doing some fundraising for tools and everything else. We are also a subcommittee of the PTO so the PTO is there to back us up financially with any supplies and anything we need. We also had the seeds donated from a family in the school so a lot of donation and a lot of fundraising.

What will you be planting this spring?

We have a lot of different things on the plans. We have eggplants, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers – they grow really well in the state of New Jersey. And then also some leafy greens, some radishes, I don’t think we are doing too many obscure things quite yet. It will kind of grow over time. Then we are going to have some clippings of some raspberries and blueberries and stuff and we’ll have that over in an area – they come back each year so we won’t have to worry about planting them again. That’s the plan so far. It’s going to have a lot of stuff in it.

Who is going to care for this garden?

Students! With the help of teachers and parent volunteers. Over the summer, I recently learned about the extended school year program that will be happening over the summer. Those students will hopefully help maintain the garden over the summer. We’ll also have a sign up sheet for volunteers who will help maintain the garden and do some harvesting over the summer. I’m personally going to make some organized play dates – I’ll invite some of my friend’s kids and we’ll all hang out in the garden and maintain the garden all together.

How will the students benefit from this garden?

School gardens are known to increase academic achievements, which is really cool. Also, with having place based learning, they will be able to have hands on learning for certain lessons like photosynthesis, or soil composition. A lot of art stuff can be done kind of incorporating the garden. It can really fit into a lot of different subjects so the school garden will hopefully be something that really connects kids as a fun and exciting and different way of learning.

Also, personally, eating healthier. Hopefully, because the students are growing it and taking an active part in the growth of the healthy foods will feel more connected to it and have a life long love for these foods continuing into adulthood therefore making them less susceptible to diet related diseases.

Can we look forward to a grand opening?

We’re doing something called an appreciation day. We are going to invite a lot of community members and people who really helped to develop the garden. People who really contributed to it and anyone who bought bricks will be invited to the garden – that’s going to be on June 3rd with a rain date of June 7th.

As soon as the weather gets nice and the benches are out, hopefully classes will start taking place out here. That should be about April at the latest, I would say. There’s no real grand celebration or opening ceremony planned, but we will have that appreciation day. I think it’s important to keep saying thank you to anyone who’s really contributing to it. You guys, really will be contributing a lot, so thank you!

Thank you for all your hard work, Mrs. Lindemann. We are so glad we could join you today.

Bears Care Garden smencils and pins FOR SALE at lunch today. Raise the fence this Sunday.


Today, we will be talking to the students about the Bears Care Garden during lunches & selling pins and mint smencils. This sale will take place in the cafeteria (just like the pretzel sales).

I wanted to invite anyone handy to come assist in finishing to put up the fence this Sunday at 10:00am. Plan to meet in the garden space the only tool I think that will be needed at this time would be:

  • a few large shovels and or hoes (to mix in OCEANGRO® * into soil)
  • hammer and wire cutter (for fencing)
  • rake to clean up space and move leaves into the compost area

My husband and I will bring the post hole digger, cement, fence staples, wire cutters. Please let me know if you think I am missing anything else as far as tools.

Children are always welcome to these events if unable to find childcare. I do not feel this should take more then 1-4 hours.

We will also provide bottles of water 🙂

Thank you as always for your time!

Theresa L.

* OCEANGRO® is non-burning, slow release and is rich in iron and calcium. OCEANGRO® is available in 45-lb. bags in many retail locations. OCEANGRO® Organic Nitrogen Fertilizer, produced by The Ocean County Utilities Authority, is registered with the New Jersey Department of Agriculture. Visit the website to learn more.

March 8th 2016 – Beachwood Elementary Vegetable Garden Committee Meeting Agenda

Elementary Vegetable GardenMeeting Time: 3pm
Location: Media Center at Beachwood Elementary

Sign in:

Old Business

  1. Lunch time selling mint Smencils & bears care garden pins
    1. set for Fri March 11 & Fri April 8th (lunch 11-12:45)
    2. show students information board what to come
  2. Work date for fence and benches (hopefully)
    1. a. Date is planned for Sunday March 13th time?
  3. Spring fundraiser: print out symbols have students purchase them decorate them and bring them home.. Then hang them in the hallway like a race… Classroom that wins (purchases the most) wins a prize. Perhaps mint smencils. Month of April or May perhaps??

New Business

  1. Sprinklers: hopefully we have news to share
  2. Seed selection:
    1. Parent volunteers are available to help plant seeds inside the classroom.
    2. Plan to start next set of seeds 1st week of April (right after Spring Break)
    3. Follow up on Eggplant seeds
  3. Events to plan:
    1. look in to making rain barrel
    2. (I can reach out to see who ran a class for Beachwood) perhaps we can do this ‘class’ as a fundraiser and also make some for the bears care garden…
    3. summer event; green festival; Zumba
  4. Ideas what to do with extra seeds: we will have a lot!!!!
    1. Is there a club we can link up with to make seed paper for fundraiser/ mother’s day etc…. Ideas??

Open to public

Adjourn meeting

Time is Almost Up to Order Your Engraved Brick!

bricksThe Engraved Brick Fundraiser is ending soon and all brick orders are due to be submitted by February 26, 2016. This will give us enough time to have your custom bricks engraved with your special message and shipped to us to be installed in the Bears Care Garden paths before the children plant this spring.

This fundraiser is a great way to support the school garden project, while immortalizing your thoughts and feelings in the space for years to come. You can commemorate your children and their time as Beachwood Bears, you can acknowledge a favorite teacher or member of the Beachwood Elementary School staff, or you could share your favorite quote or special message on a custom engraved brick.

Local businesses can take advantage of the opportunity to display a permanent advertisement for their company by creating a brick with their contact information, website address and even a logo!

Brick orders can be brought to the school main office before the deadline. Please make checks payable to the Beachwood Elementary PTO, or you can place your order online and pay with your credit card via Paypal’s secure server. No paypal account is needed to make a purchase.

As always, thank you for your support!

Join Us! Bears Care Garden Committee Meets This Tuesday 2-9 at 6:30 pm

garden_meeting1Below is the agenda for this Tuesday’s Garden Committee Meeting on 2/9 at 6:30 in media center. Hope to see you there 🙂

Also, here are the times and dates of the remainder of our meetings for this school year:

March 8th 3 pm
April 12th 6:30 pm
May 10th 3 pm
June 14th 3 pm & 6:30 pm

As always thank you all for your time!!

~Theresa Lindemann

February 9, 2015 – Agenda 3 pm

Beachwood Elementary “BEARS CARE” Vegetable Garden Committee

Media Center at Beachwood Elementary

Sign in:

Old Business

  1. Benches/shed/ main gate – we have an agreement for lumber donation for these projects working on amount needed
    • Benches have about 60 left over block enough to make 10 benches?
  2. Garden pins & mint Smencils –
    • discuss putting logo stickers on pencils
    • need to pick dates to sell
  3. Update on donations: we have commitment from home depo & lowes (agreed to donate gift cards)
  4. Security – school making progress to obtain:
    • also discussed mounting sensor solar light on shed
  5. Subcommittees:
    • local businesses to sell our bricks. F/U
  6. DEADLINE FOR BRICK ORDER Feb 26 to guarantee in garden for spring… If needed we will continue this fundraiser next year to fill walkways
    • Reach out to local clubs boyscouts girl scouts etc… (THEY HAVE THEIR SYMBOLS 5$ more)
  7. Discuss time of appreciation day so
    • invitations
  8. Sprinkler options??? Opinions on what is best way to water? Soaker hose? Sprinklers?

New Business

  1. SEEDS
    • Which classes get what
    • Begin discussing how seeds will be planted in classroom
    • Experiments between classrooms that do same seeds…

Open to public

Adjourn meeting

Today’s Bears Care Garden Meeting Reminder and Agenda

garden_meetingToday, Tuesday, January 12th, a meeting is being held for the Bears Care Vegetable Garden committee at 3 pm and 6:30 pm in the media center at Beachwood Elementary School. Please see the following agenda… Hope to see you there…

Please especially try to make it to one of these meetings if you grown your plants from seeds and starts indoors…

Anyone is welcome to join us for the Green Team meeting at 4 pm in the media center, also.

Children are always welcome; but this material is more for the adults at this time.

~Theresa Lindemann (garden coordinator)

January 12, 2015 – Agenda 3 pm & 6:30 meeting

Beachwood Elementary “BEARS CARE” Vegetable Garden Committee

Media Center at Beachwood Elementary

Sign in:

Old Business

  • 1. Benches/shed/ main gate – ?
  • 2. Thank you cards
  • 3. Family fit night
    • a. Healthy refreshments F/U
    • b. Garden pins
    • c. Smencils
    • d. T-shirt order form & raffle off 3 shirts
    • e. Also raffle brick
    • f. NEED SIGN UP helpers for our table: also need volunteers to decorate our table
  • 4. List of things we need: posted on our website and letter (printed) for donations
  • 5. Security – school making progress to obtain
  • 6. Subcommittees:
    • a. small fundraisers like putting buttons together etc. and F/U
    • b. local businesses to sell our bricks. F/U
  • 7. DEADLINE FOR BRICK ORDER Feb 26 to guarantee in garden for spring… If needed we will continue this fundraiser next year to fill walkways.

New Business

  • 1. Plan appreciation day!!!
    • a. Date
    • b. Refreshments
    • a. Which classes get what
    • b. Begin discussing how seeds will be planted in classroom
  • 3. Dates to sell smencils ($1) and button (%0.50 or $1.00) during lunches and sign up
  • 4. Sprinkler options??? Opinions on what is best way to water? Soaker hose? Sprinklers?

Open to public

Adjourn meeting

See you at the next meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 12 & Garden T-Shirt Order

garden_t-shirtThe first T-shirt order was placed today for t-shirts featuring the Bears Care Garden logo. Please try to have your checks into PTO mailbox in the main office of Beachwood Elementary School by this Friday, January 8th, if possible.

Please write on envelope or check memo. Bears Care Garden or Garden T-shirt. Include adult/child and size of the shirts ordered.

The next Garden Committee meeting is scheduled for next Tuesday, January 12, 2016 This is an important meeting, so it would be helpful for as many people as possible to attend. For your convenience, the meeting will be held twice at 3pm and at 6:30pm at the school in either the media center or the garden cafe (the actual room is subject to change). Please attend one of these 2 time slots if possible.

The timing will be close but we may even have the shirts for our 1/12 meeting. If not, we should have them by the end of next week. So exciting.

We would like to use photos of our students and families wearing the garden t-shirts to promote the garden online and in print. Please consider allowing us to take pictures of you or your child in the shirts to post on our website and t-shirt order form.

Minutes from December 9th Vegetable Garden Committee Meeting

vegetable-gardenDecember 9, 2015 – MINUTES

Beachwood Elementary Vegetable Garden Committee

Media Center at Beachwood Elementary

Attendance: Andrea D, Stephanie O, Jenn L, Sue M, Greg M, Mrs. Josberger, & Theresa L

Old Business

  1. Benches/shed/ main gate –?
    1. We may have a new group of dads willing to construct a shed using repurposed fencing (if we need them)
    2. Still need help on benches and entrance gate
  2. Thank you cards
    1. In process
  3. Family fit night
    1. Healthy refreshments-talking to ShopRite for some donations; I will make butternut squash soup to give out free samples
    2. Garden pins- we will have subcommittee to make
    3. Smencils- in process of ordering mint scent smencils
    4. T-shirt order form –working on order forms… we will sell t-shirts for $16 checks payable to PTO.  We need to get an order together of 2 doz orders ASAP (done)
  4. List of things we need: repurposed wood fencing (for art); acrylic paint; shed; rakes; shovels; hand tools; mailboxes; garden gloves(plan for each student to bring a set of garden gloves); pods; trays; solar caps for posts; wheel barrels
  5. Security have temporary camera for now…
  6. Subcommittees:
    1. small fundraisers like putting buttons together etc. and
    2. local businesses to sell our bricks.
  7. Brick fundraiser
    1. We agreed to absorb the cost of a brick for donation – we are going to raffle it off at family fit night
    2. Brick on us?  To family that donated $700 cement block – agreed to purchase this family’s brick.

Open to public

  1. Next meeting we will work on finding a date and specifics of our appreciation day… In June… This will be during school hours so students can show appreciation

Adjourn meeting

Preparing for Garden Construction, Block Has Been Delivered!

cinderblocks to build garden beds

REMINDER! Garden Construction is scheduled for this Sunday November 22th from 12-4pm.

You may have noticed the 2 large stacks of block behind the ferry lanes at school drop off this morning. These more than 400 concrete blocks will line our garden beds and are the incredibly generous donation from one amazing Beachwood Elementary School family! We can’t thank you enough and don’t have the words to express our gratitude for this tremendous gift to all the Beachwood Bears!

We welcome you to join us for construction of the garden on Sunday. Please remember to bring work gloves, and some refreshments if you can. Reach out and contact us if you have wheel barrows or hand trucks that might be useful on that day. We’ll let you know if they are needed.

Thank you everyone! We are looking forward to getting started building the Bears Care Garden!

CONSTRUCTION DATE Sunday 11/22/15 & Meeting reminder


Please note our !!NEW DATE!! for construction of the student vegetable garden at Beachwood Elementary School.

Sunday November 22th from 12-4pm

Any parents especially those with experience are welcome to come out and help our committee. We would also appreciate if some parents would please bring some refreshments for those volunteering their time. Coffee will also be available.

The goal is to put up the re-purposed fence, till the garden beds, and lay the cement blocks around the garden beds. If time, daylight, and materials permit we also hope to put the compost into the garden beds.

Please note: we really have no resources for the garden yet so please bring your own shovels, and wheel-barrels and any other tools you feel may be needed if possible.

Also our vegetable garden committee meeting is this Wednesday in the media center at either 3:15 or 6:30.  No need to attend both meetings and as always no pressure if you can not attend check the website for updates!!!