Green-Wood Cemetery becomes nature classroom for Manhattan students

On most days, Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery is a peaceful retreat from the concrete jungle. For others it’s a somber sanctuary

But on Thursday, it became an environmental classroom for students at Mather Building Arts and Craftsmanship High School in Manhattan.

More than 100 ninth graders spent the day learning all about the natural environment on the grounds of what many consider to be Brooklyn’s first ever public park.

Green-Wood’s director of Horticulture and curator Joseph Charap gave students a crash course in planting. Over 10,000 hay-scented ferns have a home at the cemetery’s historic Battle Hill.

From planting to identifying a variety of trees and even getting their hands dirty by removing invasive plant species - there were many ah-ha moments on the trail.

While many of the students won’t grow up to be historical preservationists, teachers said they hope the experience with nature makes the students more aware of their footprint on the planet.

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