Urban Farm and Garden

Sandwiched between Crawford and Bellevue Avenue sits our West Court and Urban Farm and Garden. The lot is a multi-use space, providing a half-basketball court for students to enjoy under the sun. The other half is the Urban Farm and Garden, which was constructed by a student-led initiative in the spring of 2017.

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A Space for Gardening

The Urban Farm and Garden has 15 raised beds, allowing for space to grow anything from cucumbers to Thai chili peppers. The garden helps provide vegetables and herbs for the dining hall throughout the year. Students in the Environmental Interest Group work together to maintain and water the raised beds throughout the school year and the summer.

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Room to Grow

A greenhouse helps provide shelter from the winter elements for year round gardening. The greenhouse, the gazebo, and the 15 raised beds were all constructed by Northwest School students, parents, and faculty members during the spring of 2017. The Environmental Interest Group solicited feedback from each grade level of students during the design process of the Urban Farm and Garden. The end result is an outdoor greenspace on campus for the community to use as both a classroom and a gathering space.

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A Canvas for Students

Students at The Northwest School have already left their visual mark on the Urban Farm and Garden. Public Art students painted worms onto the sides of the raised beds, and students decorated rain barrels during the opening celebration of the space. Former Public Art teacher Curtis Erlinger provided the highlight of the Urban Farm and Garden when he converted an old basketball backboard into a sunflower overlooking the entire space.

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Beautifying the Neighborhood

The West Court is flanked by two portico gate entrances. Each gate is adorned with a ceramic tile frieze, created by former Northwest School ceramics faculty Karla Leiberman and three classes of Upper School students. The tiles are themed "Unity in Diversity," reflecting our global student body. Professional tiler Don Fife donated his time to help seal the friezes to protect them from the elements. According to an article published by the Daily Journal of Commerce in April 1994, the school’s Capitol Hill neighbors agreed, saying “the open space has turned into a living part of the local street scape.”

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An Outdoor Court

A basketball hoop with a half-court occupies the rest of the West Court, giving students an opportunity to play some ball and enjoy some fresh air during the school day. The court is also the scene of some of Northwest School traditions, including the annual rocket launch during Winterfest.