ASCA School Garden: Current Events

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September 2016

Big shout out to our summer volunteers that tended to our school garden! Thank you to you and your families!!

Denise Gasbarro
Belinda Mayo
Fran Barreto
Maria Sevilla
Victoria Inzitari
Rose Kellner
Mary Jane Greagoni
Andrew Scarsi
Michelle Hulsman
Sil Garcia

May 2016

  • Sent home flyer requesting volunteers to water and weed the garden over the summer!
  • Special thanks to Danielle Garcia for her generous donation to the garden!
  • Directed the entire student body, pre-k3 through 8th grade through our spring plant event.
    Special thanks to our dedicated volunteers: Richie DeCanto, Jo’Ell Saeli-Brody, Pam Dinglasan, Sil Garcia, Eunjoo (Mel) Jung, Louise O’Connor. We all thought that the prayer partners worked really well together in the garden!
  • Recycled stakes from old garden fence as garden markers, labelled by the 4th grade
  • Mrs. McCabe’s prek3 class planted pole beans that they germinated in the classroom.
  • Purchased plants
  • Had broken spigot repaired
  • Trimmed existed plants in garden, pulled weeds, and turned over soil in preparation for our spring plant event. Special thanks to Jo’Ell Saeli-Brody, and my sixth grade assistants, Courtney, Coda, Nicholas, Marek, and Ryan!

April 2016

  • Requested garden donations via an Earth Day flyer that was sent home with students. If you missed this, you can support the program by sending a check to All Saints Catholic Academy in care of Jane Dullea and including ‘garden donation’ in the memo field of your check.
  • Ordered pole bean seeds online
  • Mrs. Cronin directed her kindergarten class to plant sunflower seeds.

December 2015

  • After months of different aspects coming together we purchased a new garden fence! The BCN profile of our school garden (see June 2015 news) led to UNICO making a donation (see July 2015 news). And the UNICO donation to the school garden covered most of the cost of the new fence.


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  • Thanks to John Youngclause of JRY Plumbing for replacing the handle on our garden spigot!

September-November 2015

  • Students continued to water, weed, and harvest our crops.


  • 7th grade planted tulip bulbs

August 2015

  • Special thanks to Mrs. Colleen Byrne for her hands-on help with the Garden Club students throughout the summer!!
  • Our ASCA Summer Garden Club met with the Bayonne Nature Club for a bird walk through Rutkowski Park. We all loved the experience.
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July 2015

    • On Wednesdays in July and August the ASCA Summer Garden club watered and weeded the garden and harvested our crops. They also made garden gnomes and caterpillars, and decorated drawstring bags!
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  • Thanks to the generous $1000 donation from the Bayonne Chapter of UNICO National, we hope to purchase a new garden fence!
  • We have 21 students in the ASCA Summer Garden Club. Our first meeting was 7/8. The students tended to the garden and made clay pot animals!


  • A big thanks goes out to the following ASCA families for volunteering to water the garden from June through the end of July: Louise Delaney, Adelyn Rivera, Lauren Griffin, Jackie McNulty, Fran Barreto, Karen Scarsi, Mary McCabe, Rosemary Kellner, Dena DeCanto, and Paula.
  • We are still looking for volunteers to water a few consecutive days to a week to cover the month of August and the first week in September.

June 2015

  • Fliers were sent home this week to the existing Pre-K3 through 5th grade students about our ASCA Summer Garden Club 2015. You’re invited to join us.
  • We have concluded our Spring Plant Event. Many thanks to our parent volunteers including Pam Dinglasan, Barby Lumang, Richie Decanto, Jo’Ell Saeli-Brody, Sil Garcia, Yolanda Iszczyk, Louise O’Connor, Eunjoo Jung, Heidi DeJoy, Michelle Wolenski, Mary McCabe, and Monica Russo-Alesi, and Becky Kaiser!
  • Alice Birtwistle is organizing the volunteer families to water the garden over the summer. If you can help, please contact her at
  • Our ASCA Garden was highlighted in an article in the Bayonne Community News on Wednesday, June 3, 2015—?instance=bayonne_top_story
  • Special thanks to Mrs. Colleen Byrne’s Pre-K4 class who made a monetary donation to the garden on 6/2 as their “Spiritual Bouquet” for Bishop Donato.

May 2015

  • Our Spring Plant Event is on for Wednesday 5/27 and Thursday 5/28. If you can lend a hand, please contact Lori on 201-294-6249.
  • On 5/21 Lori met with Joseph Passantino, a staff writer for The Hudson Reporter. He reached out to ASCA, looking to hear more about our garden. It is possible there will be an article in the 5/27 issue of the Bayonne Community News.
  • On 5/20 Lori met with Marek of Marek’s Construction to get an estimate for a new garden fence. Looking forward to the options. Plan is to solicit funds from our community supporters to cover the cost.
  • Our new garden corner is starting to take shape. Thank you Ms. Narese for donating these decorative garden stones.
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  • We have begun purchasing plants for our spring plant event with the students which will be on 5/27-28. Thanks for the help Louise O’Connor! We have tomato, eggplant, cucumber, beet, carrot, strawberry and pepper plants so far. We are hoping that our blackberry, blueberry, and raspberry bushes produce fruit again this year. We welcome logistical help purchasing and transporting the plants for our spring plant event. Contact
  • The 5th and 6th grades have begun planting lettuce in recycled soda bottles. Under the direction of Mrs. Czerwienski, the students have mounted this vertical garden in the school yard. They planted looseleaf lettuce, buttercrunch, romaine, and arugula. The safety patrol is handling the watering.
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  • Ms. Rodas and Senora DeChiaro are finalizing plans for a new herb garden. They intend to incorporate the herbs and international foods into their lesson plans. Thanks goes to Richie DeCanto for breaking down and discarding our old, broken raised bed so that we can start fresh. With the help of Billy Conway, Richie DeCanto, Barby Lumang, and Pam Dinglasan we have repurposed pallets as raised beds for the new herb garden.
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  • Thanks to Barby Lumang, Pam Dinglasan, Richie DeCanto, Mary McCabe, and Becky Kaiser for helping the students with their vertical garden and for starting the spring cleanup.
  • One of our White Flowering Dogwood (on the left) trees needs a little TLC. All advice is welcome!
  • A LOT of bulb flowers bloomed this year. We are planning to remove some and save them for next fall since we need to reclaim planting space. On the same day, we will finish our spring cleanup to prepare for our spring plant event.
  • We are looking to replace the white picket fence around the garden. We are looking for white fencing about 18″-24″ high, about 50′ long. Marek’s Construction is working up some ideas and an estimate for us.

April 2015 

  • Billy Conway assembled and installed new garden shed and benches. Thanks Billy!!
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  • Scheduled spring plant event with faculty for Wednesday, May 27 and Thursday, May 28. Additional volunteers are welcome!
  • Thank you to Mary Murray, Clare Powanda, and Stephanie Wilkins for donating funds to the garden.
  • Thank you to Michele Hulsman for donating seeds.

March 2015

  • Filed report with Whole Kids Foundation about how we have spent grant dollars so far.
  • Negotiated with 3 local Boy Scout leaders to remove this Boy Scout trailer.
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November 2014

  • Purchased garden shed and benches.

October 2014

  • On Tuesday, October 14, our first graders learned about the cross section of a tulip bulb and enthusiastically planted purple tulip bulbs along the fence in our garden!
  • Thanks goes to Becky Kaiser, Sil Garcia, Pam Dinglasan, and Yolanda Iszczyk for their fall cleanup work on Thursday, October 2!
  • Thanks to the Wilkins family for the mums!
  • Our upcoming events include an invitation to paint your own pumpkin and drop it off in the ASCA garden, planting bulbs, and transplanting herbs to be adopted indoors.
  • Our next big project is to reinvent the corner of the schoolyard that the red Boy Scout trailer occupies. We envision benches, storage, and hanging gardens!

September 2014

  • Round of applause to our dedicated summer support team that waters the garden throughout the summer.  The Barone, Birtwistle, Conti, DeCanto, Delaney, Gasbarro, Geagoni, Gillen, Griffin, Hulsman, Lynn, McCabe, McNulty, Moran, O’Connor, Scarsi, Sevilla, Wolenski families kept the garden quenched and thriving. Thank you!
  • A very special thank you to Alexios Lambos, grade 8, who helped Mr. Lynch this summer; his community service is greatly appreciated.
  • Thanks to Ms. Narese for the decorative garden stones!

July and August 2014

ASCA Students in preschool through 5th grade were invited to participate in our ASCA Summer Garden Club. We met on Wednesdays from 10am until at least 12noon, sometimes 1pm if we couldn’t get the kids home! Their projects varied week to week depending on the age group and number of children attending. Kudos to the 15  children from the Garcia, Iszczyk, Kaiser, Rei, Russo-Alessi, Weimmer, Wolenski families for their hard work and dedication this summer!

  • They painted a rain barrel and trash can.
  • They created more stepping stones for the garden by adding their own objects and mosaic designs to concrete.
  • They decorated stakes and labelled the garden with them.
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  • They picked herbs and put them in spice jars that they decorated themselves.
  • They painted a new bird house and a bird feeder.
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And of course they harvested crops and watered the garden. Our 2014 harvest was DELICIOUS! The garden club enjoyed blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries every week. They ate them so fast that there are no pictures! ASCA Students continued to enjoy harvesting string beans, tomatoes, and eggplant throughout September.

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June 2014

  • Thanks to the 8th grade, Class of 2014 for their class gift! A beautiful statue of Mary watches over the children as they play on the playground, along with a colorful butterfly shaped stepping stone.  It is things like this that make our school so special.  Thank you, Class of 2014!


  • Thanks to Anthony Galella for building and donating the podium we use to post our map and watering instructions.
  • Shout out to George Delaney and the Bayonne Rugby Club for their $100 donation to the ASCA School Garden!
  • Thanks also goes to John Youngclaus and JRY Plumbing who installed a new spigot near the garden at a reduced cost. Prior to June 2014, we ran the garden hose through the window of the boiler room!
  • Each grade and class was given the opportunity to plant.
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  • With Whole Kids as our sponsor we were able to redirect our fundraising efforts towards planning the spring planting session.
February 2014
  • Breaking News! We just heard from Whole Kids Foundation that we are the recipients of a grant for our school garden! According to the stats on their website they have awarded grants to 1500 schools since 2011, averaging about 500 per year in 2011, 2012, and 2013. For 2014, they received 1300 applications, including ours and we are thrilled to announce that they have bestowed a generous $2000. of confidence on our project!! Join us this spring for what we hope will be our best season yet! We welcome your hands on participation in this project, please contact to get involved! Also, explore the web page of our new sponsor and thank them for their confidence in our garden project!
January 2014
  • Tag Day on January 24 for the school garden.
December 2013
  • On Wednesday, December 4, 2013, we dedicated the flower garden at the school’s entrance to its long term care taker, Jim Lynch. Pictured here are Alice Birtwistle, Jim Lynch, and ASCA students during the dedication. Mr. Lynch’s son Mike had the following to say about his Dad.
    “Jim Lynch was recently honored by All Saints Catholic Academy with the dedication of a garden stone at the school’s entrance. A faithful parishioner and grammar school graduate of St. Mary’s Star of the Sea, Class of 1936, this ninety year old volunteer has maintained the garden for the past twelve years. The school garden has thrived with lilies, sunflowers and a rosebush with Jim’s green thumb and TLC. The lifelong Bayonne resident stated, ” Gardening is TR( total relaxation). It makes a person feel good to see all the flowers grow.” An active Senior Citizen, Jim is an original parish bingo volunteer as well as church envelope collection counter. A Bayonne High School graduate, Class of 1940, he is a WWII veteran and retired equipment operator from PSE&G. Mr. Lynch is the father of Michael, Kathryn, Kevin and James; a grandfather of eight and the gracious great- grandfather of two. He is very proud that the garden is a pleasant, welcoming sight for all who pass by the 19 West 13th Street school doors. Our family truly appreciates the honor that you have given our dad. Thanks so much. Mike Lynch”
  • Also in December, we held a successful magazine fundraiser in conjunction with Kastle Creations. Thanks to all for your support!
November 2013
  • Order Ava Foundation products and our sales consultant will give back a percentage of sales to the garden!
  • Contact Alice Birtwistle at if your child needs documentation for high school for hours spent volunteering in the garden over the summer.
October 2013:
ASCA Garden Rocks 2013
  • Completed installation of the remaining birdhouses. Special thanks goes to Marc Russo-Alesi for building birdhouses for the students to paint!
  • Added the river rocks that were decorated by the students.
  • Completed application for this grant for the school garden. Grant recipients will be notified in March 2014.
  • Planted bulbs with students on October 25, 2013
  • Began fall cleanup on Saturday, October 19, 2013
  • Planning for a December fundraiser for the garden. Stay tuned!
  • Join 35 Minute Bootcamps and 10% of your membership will be given back to the ASCA school garden. Click here for more info.
  • Thanks to Jane Pilanski for kicking off food science class, inspired by the garden, with Mrs. Cardino’s 7th grade class in mid October.
  • Working on latest Garden Newsletter
September 2013:
ASCA Garden Summer Volunteers
Thank you to all of our summer volunteers who kept the garden flourishing with their diligent watering and weeding!