Friends Community School

Berwyn Heights, Maryland

Friends Community School is located on Westchester Park Drive in Berwyn Heights, MD next to Greenbelt Park. The school has a Monarch team comprised of three teachers (including Ms. Christine Dunathan and Mr. James Key), the principal (Mr. Larry Clements), and several parents (including Ms. Beth Zinecker). Ms. Zinecker and Ms. Dunathan together serve as leaders of the school’s Monarch team.

The school’s Monarch Biodiversity Garden covers an area of approximately 1000 sq. ft. adjacent to the main athletic field any parking lot. The garden was designed by Dr. Christopher Puttock of Chesapeake Natives, INC. The school financed the Garden through fundraising events and a grant. Compost and mulch were purchased from College Park SmartGrow.

The garden beds and pathways were prepared by a volunteer team of parents, friends, and Rotarians (mainly from the Rotary Club of College Park, but also from Baltimore, Annapolis and Washington, DC clubs) on Saturday July 18, 2009, who moved many wheelbarrows of sand, topsoil compost, and mulch. All plants used in the garden were from original Maryland wild sources, purchased from Chesapeake Natives, Inc. These native plants were delivered on September 11, 2009, and planted by students on the same day under the supervision of Dr. Puttock, in beds of about 1015 sq. ft. for each species.

The school is partnering with the Rotary Club of College Park to help maintain the Monarch Biodiversity Garden, as it requires time and attention beyond the possibilities of school’s custodial staff. The Rotary Club of College Park also is contributing funds directly to the Monarch Sister School Program to sustain and develop the role of the school in the program.