Members Area

Inspiring Students with Sunflowers


March 15, 2022

Cambridge Plant & Garden Club Helps Create Unique Curriculum

In the winter of 2021, with typical club activities and community outreach on hold due to COVID, the Cambridge Plant & Garden Club (CP&GC) looked for novel ways to engage with the community and, specifically, with local students remotely, during the winter pandemic lockdown. The club’s hope was to inspire in students a closer connection with nature, public spaces, and knowledge of the plant world. 

CP&GC members were inspired by Boston artist and community activist Ekua Holmes and her Roxbury Sunflower Project where hundreds of sunflowers were planted in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston in an effort to evoke hope, resilience and empowerment. (Ms. Holmes later reprised this sunflower installation with Elizabeth James–Perry, an Aquinnah Wampanoag artist, activist, and tribe member, on the grounds of Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts.) A partnership was forged between Ms. Holmes, CP&GC, and the Prospect Hill Academy (PHA), one of the oldest and largest charter schools operating in Massachusetts. Prospect Hill Academy is a tuition-free, college preparatory school with a student body drawn from diverse neighborhoods, races, and socio-economic levels.

CP&GC began to create a curriculum for study of the sunflower, with a dynamic and diverse team including Ms. Holmes, Carmen Mouzon from the Farm School, and Molly Edwards, a PhD candidate at Harvard University’s Kramer Lab and producer of the educational Science IRL on YouTube. Eight lessons were conducted remotely during the winter with a group of middle school girls. The sessions included looking at the sunflower through the lenses of art, botany, mathematics, farming, and social justice. The program culminated in the spring, with the planting of a garden, designed by students, at the entrance of the school, which was bursting with color and featured sunflowers at its center.  Club members worked alongside the students, grateful for the opportunity to actually meet after the long lockdown.


In Other News...


See All News