Creating healthy places living furniture workshop | News
The phrase, “The important thing with laying sod is to make sure the pieces touch but don’t overlap too much”, is not something you would normally hear at an afterschool program activity, but this isn’t just any activity.
Students from Lyons Community Center and Sodus Safe Schools/Healthy Students elementary and middle school afterschool groups were working to create sod furniture at the Forever Wild For Everyone Trail of Hope at the Lyons Community Center. Marcia Eames-Sheavly from the Garden Based Learning Program at Cornell University was sharing her 6 years of expertise on overseeing the creation of over 20 different pieces of living furniture made from sod.
This program was made possible through Cornell Cooperative Extension of Wayne County Creating Healthy Places (CHP) project, a grant funded by the NYS Department of Health.
“This is a great experience for the kids!” said Sandi Bastedo CHP Coordinator, “They are building something that they can use while connecting with nature on a Wayne County trail.”
Providing new opportunities for physical activity in Wayne County communities is one of the goals of CHP.
The students from both programs were very enthusiastic and quickly built two sod couches with direction from Eames-Sheavly. Daniela, Yessemili, and Jacob, participants in the Sodus Safe Schools/Healthy Students afterschool program, all agreed that their favorite part of the afternoon was shaping the piles of dirt into couches. While Dulce, a student from the Sodus Safe Schools/Healthy Students afterschool program felt that being able to sit on the couches by the end of the day was her favorite part. Getting to water the couches after the sod was set in place was the most fun for Buddah and Jacob, students from the Lyons Community Center afterschool program. The students from the Lyons Community Center afterschool program will be able to enjoy the couches every day and are thrilled with the new addition to the trail.
Mark DeCracker, the project leader for the Forever Wild For Everyone Trail of Hope, was really excited about the opportunity.
“The sod furniture will allow people to sit and overlook the trail and the gardens,” he said. “We will be putting in an international garden, there is a willow tunnel for the kids to run through, and we have the largest shaped butterfly garden in the state.”
Eames-Sheavly says her favorite part of the project is that, “In the plant world, you normally need to exercise patience, but this activity allows for instant gratification.”