Wednesday, May 30, 2012

MEDIA ADVISORY -- Landscape Architects Dedicate Taft Middle School Garden

Reporters and editors: See news release below for dedication of Taft
Middle School garden, 2 p.m. Thursday, May 31, at the school, 9191
Gramercy Dr. (92123).

Jack Brandais | Communications Department | San Diego Unified School
District | (619) 725-5570 (Desk) | (619) 607-0477 (Cell)

MEDIA RELEASE: for immediate use

American Society of Landscape Architects, Friends of Ruffin Canyon and ACE
Mentor Program Celebrate Completion of Educational and Native Garden at
William H. Taft Middle School

SAN DIEGO: May 3, 2012‹The San Diego Chapter of the American Society of
Landscape Architects (ASLA), in partnership with the Friends of Ruffin
Canyon and the ACE Mentor Program, have completed the design and
installation of an educational and native garden‹The HabiTaft Garden‹ for
William H. Taft Middle School in Serra Mesa. A dedication ceremony will
take place on May 31 at 2 PM at the garden site.

Principal Mike George will welcome guests, followed by remarks from San
Diego Superintendent of Schools, Bill Kowba and Gary Petill, Food Services
Director for the San Diego Unified School District. As part of the
celebration there will be demonstrations that include: compost, worms,
planting and native plants.

The 2011 Legacy Project for the ALSA, The HabiTaft Garden was selected
because it presented an ideal forum for reconnecting children with the
environment and exposing them to the practice of landscape architecture.
Installation of the garden began in October 2011 with school officials,
landscape architects, students and Friends of Ruffin Canyon digging in.

ASLA volunteers developed and hosted design workshops for ACE Mentor High
School Students as part of the Legacy Project. The first workshop was held
at the site where the students learned how to prepare a site-analysis plan
by observing and documenting existing site conditions. The subsequent
workshops were held at The New School of Architecture and Design in
downtown San Diego. These workshops led the students through the landscape
architecture-design process from concept through construction documents.

During the workshops, students learned about the value and diversity of
canyon land and watersheds in San Diego and how they related to their
site. They learned about urban agriculture and the benefits of
reconnecting to natural processes through gardening. The students
documented their site-analysis, programmed the site, generated a master
plan for the campus, and designed a small educational garden, which they
helped construct at Taft Middle School.

In the next stage of the Legacy Project, Taft will develop curriculum that
allows students to discover nature, investigate history, and celebrate
culture through working and learning in the garden. The garden is
universally accessible, providing opportunities where children of all
abilities can explore San Diego¹s rich and diverse landscape. The Friends
of Ruffin will use the garden¹s greenhouse to grow seedlings that will be
planted in Ruffin Canyon, which is adjacent to Taft Middle School.

The HabiTaft Garden Legacy Project celebrates the mission of the American
Society of Landscape Architects, which is to lead, educate and participate
in the careful stewardship, wise planning and artful design of our
cultural and natural environments.

EDITORS NOTE: Hi-res images are available of complete build process.
Please contact Delle Willett at or call 619.665.5981


Contacts: Brooke Pietz, ASLA San Diego Chapter, 619.294.4477 x151
Delle Willett, Publicist, ASLA San Diego Chapter, 619.665.5981

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