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New Paltz High School

New Paltz, New York


Organization Description:

New Paltz Central High School currently instructs over 800 students and employs over 70 full and part-time teaching staff along with a support staff. The New Paltz Central School District exists for the children of the community. The focus of its programs and activities is the commitment to measured excellence and continuous growth and development for all.


Situated on a 140’ x 80’ plot of land, the Courtyard Phenology Walk is in the Courtyard Gardens, located in the middle of New Paltz Senior High School. The Courtyard Gardens was created in 2007 under the guidance of science teacher Cathy Law. The gardens hold more than 200 plant varieties in over a dozen theme gardens. The design for the garden is inspired by the High Line garden in New York City. Xeriscape, low maintenance plants are arranged in sweeping, naturalized plantings reminiscent of a meadow. The garden serves as a green classroom for biology students who collect and identify insects, study ecological communities, and investigate bird behavior. The Courtyard Garden builds a positive school environment as well. Past school-wide events held in the garden include Art, Coffee, and Snacks in the Courtyard. Snacks in the Courtyard feature international finger food using spices from the culinary gardens to teach students food literacy and promote healthy eating habits. 


Organization Goals: 

The mission of the New Paltz High School Courtyard Gardens is to promote environmental conservation, while educating students about biology, environmental science, and phenology. The Courtyard Gardens helps promote environmental stewardship by instilling a love of nature within students.


Phenology Project Description:

The New Paltz High School Courtyard Phenology Walk was launched in September 2015. Head administrator of the site is Alessandro Antúnez de Mayolo Mauceri, a high school student pursuing research within the courtyard. The walk is currently monitored by Cathy Law, Alessandro Mauceri, and other volunteers from the Science Research class offered at the high school. As of now, twelve species are being monitored, and Mauceri and Law are planning on expanding the site next year. 


To learn more or get involved: 

What species are being studied?



Trees and Shrubs




Resources for this site

(for registered observers)

Coming Soon!

Photo by: Cathy Law

Photo by: Cathy Law

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