Local school connects to community through unique flower display

Thousands of daffodils will bring joy to the community at Mohawk Trail Regional School, thanks to this Grants in Place project.

November 28, 2017 |

Next spring, thousands of daffodils will bring joy to the students, faculty and community at Mohawk Trail Regional School in Massachusetts. The colorful flowers tie into a unique community asset: the Shelburne Falls "Bridge of Flowers." The flowers will bloom year after year, providing long-lasting beauty for this small school.

Pride in community and place is a significant factor in how student's perceive their hometown, and Ms. Roxanne Trombly of Mohawk Trail Regional Schools in Shelburne Falls, MA knows it!

Ms. Trombly was the recipient of a 2017-18 Grants in Place award. She and her students recently completed "Project Daffodil" which involved planting over 1,000 sunny yellow daffodils in front of their school. The project ties into a unique feature of Shelburne Falls: the Bridge of Flowers. Shelburne Falls a small town of 1,731 people; in 1928, a bridge in the town was abandoned due to the cessation of rail service in the area. According to The Great Neighborhood Book: A Do-it Yourself Guide to Placemaking, the small town "made the most of a bad situation by creating floral displays on a downtown bridge."

The school's project, led by Trombly, the French, Communications, and Leadership teacher at Mohawk Ridge, was installed this fall as dozens of students assisted in the planting of over 1,000 flower bulbs. We can't wait to see the photos of this magnificent community display in the spring!

In The Great Neighborhood Book, the authors state that Shelburne's flower displays "do more than please the eye. They can lift a community's spirit and provide tangible proof that things are looking up." We couldn't agree more. Thanks to Ms. Trombly and her students, the community of Shelburne Falls will enjoy this beautiful spring show of pride in their school and community for generations. '

To see a slideshow of the planting day, click here!

More than twenty funders and individual donors came together to invest $136,000 in rural place-based education initiatives and projects in 2017-18 through the Rural Schools Collaborative Grants in Place program. The Place-based grants recognize the importance of supporting community-based student learning that serves a public purpose.

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