Amy Fulton and Lou Tiseo sit on the bench dedicated to their late son, Nick Tiseo, in a new pollinator garden at JBHS following the dual dedication for the garden and bench to Nick on June 12th. Nick, who passed away in June 2017, would have graduated this Sunday with Barlow’s class of ’18. His parents are surrounded by students and faculty of Barlow’s Unified Wellness Class, of which Nick was a member, and which created the garden and raised funds for the bench by creating and selling seed paper. The Unified Wellness group is the vision of Barlow teacher Jeff Brown (far right), in an effort to enable students with disabilities to participate in a general education setting with typical peers to nurture an authentic, inclusive environment. Barlow teacher Dr. Katherine Nuzzo secured a small grant from the National Wildlife Foundation, Lego and the CT Forest and Parks Association to creation a garden to enhance the monarch butterfly population.
The garden, which was begun in 2016, is now certified by the National Wildlife Federation as a schoolyard wildlife habitat. Special thanks to the Easton Learning Foundation, for a grant to help purchase the bench, and Flo Vannoni and Sally Pfeifer, master gardeners with the Redding Garden Club, for their guidance and assistance on every aspect of the garden design and execution.