Welcome to the West Orange Pollinator Garden and Outdoor Learning Project!
The Township of West Orange, under the Leadership of the Environmental Commission, and in collaboration with the West Orange Open Space and Recreation Commission, applied for and recieved a Sustainable Jersey grant to create a community pollinator garden at The Rock located at 577 Mt. Pleasant Avenue. The Rock is a 6-acre site acquired by the township in 2011 and through a series of charettes and public hearings, a conceptual landscaping plan was approved for a total of seven varied community gardens that will serve to conserve, revegetate, and reforest the site.
The 1st of these community gardens at The Rock, a pollinator garden, is a "living classroom" for West Orange students and residents of all ages and will serve to promote good stewardship practices and raise awareness about the important role pollinator gardens play in reviving the health of bees, butterflies, birds, and other important species that contribute to a vibrant and sustainable ecosystem.
The educational component of the garden utilizes mobile devices as tools to access QR codes on posts located throughout the garden for learning activities for all ages. Finding various types of plants and insects will be a common theme within the interactive project. While at the garden, participants will use mobile devices to connect for an educational experience that will be simultaneously virtual and real. Educational curriculum (suggested lesson plants and activities) are available here on this landing page and accessable using the educator specific QR codes posted in the garden.
This innovative approach to education at the garden renders paper and pamphlets practically obsolete for this project, providing another environmental benefit. A tour guide or staffing for the garden will not be required as the learner will only need a mobile device and a QR compatable app or Flipgrid for this interactive educational experience.