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NJLCA Builds Outdoor Classroom and Sensory Garden for Special Needs School
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Held October 7th

The New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association completed an outdoor classroom and sensory garden at a local school for their 2015 Day of Service project.

The New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association (NJLCA) recently completed their 2015 Day of Service project at The Forum School in Waldwick, N.J. The Forum School is a private, nonprofit, non-sectarian day school for students with autism and other neurological dysfunctions. A ribbon cutting ceremony took place Wednesday, October 7th.

Each year, members of the NJLCA volunteer their time and donate equipment and materials for their Day of Service project to help children in local communities. This year, NJLCA chose The Forum School for the service project. The inspiration came from Danielle Goldstein, an occupational therapy assistant major at Eastwick College, and daughter of Rich Goldstein, treasurer of the NJLCA. The school requested a sensory garden to help teachers educate students about the different senses, using plant material with different colors, textures and scents, and garden structures, including a pondless water fountain and colorful "talk-tube" for sound. The NJLCA took it one step further and built an entire outdoor classroom, including built-in seating and raised planters.

NJLCA executive director Jody Shilan, who designed the project, commented, "Our members really enjoy working together and giving back to local communities. These projects truly are a labor of love and I am always so impressed with the generosity of our association members."

Brian Detlefsen, principal of The Forum School added, "When we first saw the plans, we expected a nice, colorful perennial garden for our students and teachers. However, now that the project is complete, we are amazed at how beautiful the outdoor classroom is. We can't wait to start using it."

The NJLCA prides itself on the generosity and professionalism of its members, who have donated over $500,000 in goods and services to New Jersey communities during the past several years. These volunteer projects include the renovation of the Charles Mastik Memorial Little League Field, Little Ferry, N.J. in 2014; Schulteis Farm, Clifton, N.J. in 2012; Ho-Ho-Kus School in 2011; Fairview 9/11 Memorial in 2011; Eisenhower Middle School, Wyckoff, N.J. in 2010; and No-Be-Bos-Co Boy Scout Camp, Blairstown, N.J. in 2009.

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May 19, 2019, 8:28 am PDT

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