Denver Center for International Studies

Photo by Denver Center for International Studies

photo © DCIS
For the past three years, the Environmental Club at the Denver Center for International Studies in downtown Denver, Colorado has been developing a sustainable school vegetable garden with an “urban eclectic” theme. Despite the fact that they’re in the heart of the city, they see urban wildlife regularly on campus, and are planning on integrating this aspect of their neighborhood into the garden by attracting more birds to it.

photo © DCIS
The Environmental Club wants to put a bird bath and several bird feeders, including one for hummingbirds, in the garden, and get some permaculture plants up and growing for a “grand opening” event in May. During this event, science classes will be given a tour of the garden during the school day, and community members/parents are invited to tour the garden after school. The tour will include basic information about permaculture and sustainable agriculture, specific information about what vegetables are planted (as an international school they’ll devote raised beds to vegetables from different continents), and the types of plants that can attract birds in urban environments, like the drought-tolerant licorice hyssop, autumn sage, and echinacea.

photo © DCIS
As part of their weekly meetings, the Club will conduct bird observations. Art classes will follow the urban eclectic theme and adapt found objects to be used as planters in the garden, like an old chest of drawers which can be painted and house herbs.