Maplewood Applies for Grant to Install a Demonstration Food Forest on School Campus

This fall, the Maplewood Elementary PTA Landscaping and Grants committees worked with local nonprofit Urban Patchwork to make plans for a small demonstration food forest at the entrance to the school. Laurie Berman, PTA Grants Chair, submitted an application for a Bright Green Future School Grant from the City of Austin. We hope to receive the $3,000 grant to install the project in Spring 2017.

The proposal is for an edible food forest and rain garden near the main entrance to our school. Our partner on the project, Urban Patchwork, has lots of experience turning underutilized spaces into productive urban gardens and farms and educational spaces, and we were inspired by the Festival Beach Food Forest planned in East Austin.  We hope that the Maplewood forest will feed, educate, and inspire our school community and the surrounding neighborhood.

You might be asking what is a food forest? ” A food forest is a gardening technique or land management system, which mimics a woodland ecosystem by substituting edible trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals. Fruit and nut trees make up the upper level, while berry shrubs, edible perennials and annuals make up the lower levels.” (source: Beacon Food Forest). The location we have identified is the triangle to the left of the school’s main entrance. This space is sufficient to host four small varieties of fruit trees as well as eight edible understory plants and lots of rainbed ground plants that will support the fruit trees and soil health, and add seasonal interest to brighten the entry to the school. There will be a focus on educational aspects of the garden with signage and seating. The food forest will provide an engaging outdoor learning space for educators to align math, science, arts, literacy learning objectives with outdoor experiences.

The Bright Green Futures grant is funded by the city’s Office of Sustainability, and is intended to “recognize and support innovative projects that will inspire students to become lifelong environmental stewards.” We hope that we receive the funds and are working on installation next spring!

Maplewood Food Forest and Rain Garden. Design by Urban Patwork.

Design by Urban Patchwork.






Maplewood Moms Organize Parent Support Team

This year we are excited to bring you a new and meaningful addition to our school, the Parent Support Team.

Who we are:

Renei is mom to 3rd grader Cozbi and 1st grader Zenobia. She says “My greatest parenting challenge is feeling like I’m never doing enough.”
Camille is mom to 1st grader Bijou adn Oona, who is a future Mustang! She says “My greatest parenting challenge is getting to school on time … and learning patience.”

Parent Support bios

Our goal with this position is to:

1. Empower families with information to support their children’s learning at home;
2. Facilitate communication between staff, parents, and administrators;
3. Offer opportunities for families to participate in school planning, leadership and volunteering;
4. Connect families to in-school and community support and resources;
5. Encourage parents to get involved in the school community and decision making process;
6. Cultivate a school environment where all feel welcome and respected

We can help with things like:

• finding child care
• after school activities
• parenting classes
• language barriers
• summer camp
• parent/teacher relationships
• job search
• improving communication and leadership skills
• parenting books and resources
• study materials
• community resources
• Notary Public, and so many more.

To contact us please call 512-522-7345 or email


Last Chance to Buy School Supplies Through Sprout!

July 31 is the last day to order your school supply kit from Sprout School Supplies! You get the convenience of one-stop shopping and the kits are delivered to the school. Plus 10% of all sales goes back to Maplewood! Support our school and save yourself time! If you want to purchase your student’s materials yourself, the list for each grade is below.

School Supply list 2016-2017


Co-Presidents to Lead Maplewood PTA in 2016-2017

Erin Dooner and Elizabeth McQueen will serve as Co-Presidents of the Maplewood PTA in 2016-2017. The PTA began encouraging board members to share positions last year, and several will do so this year, including parents sharing the roles of Secretary and Treasurers. Erin and Elizabeth made a plan for how to share and divide the responsibilities of PTA president based on their strengths with Maplewood parent Melissa Nicholson of Work Muse, a flexible work firm specializing in job sharing. Read more about it here, and email if you’d like to get involved!