Focus, learn, and give

Special projects offer volunteers, paid contractors, and funding donors the opportunity to help us accomplish particular initiatives within relatively short time frames. These projects come and go as needed. For example:

Historic Civil War Era Garden at Monterey Pass

The Civil War era garden, located near the Monterey Pass Battlefield Museum, opened to the public on May 21, 2022. Created by The Institute (now Buttonwood Nature Center) in partnership with the Friends of the Battle of Monterey Pass, the garden was based on extensive research and was planted by The Institute’s garden director and volunteers. It serves as an educational tool for area school children and for visitors to Monterey Pass Battlefield Museum.

The garden is an interpretation of a Civil War-era garden, not a literal reproduction. In addition to traditional vegetables, 19th-century gardens often included a variety of herbs, used for both medicinal and culinary purposes. The garden will have a significant number of such herbs. Many of these were used historically as “backyard medicine” by households, and were also used by surgeons and doctors tending to wounded Civil War soldiers. The 25-by-28-foot garden is enclosed by a period style wooden fence, constructed with reproduction 19th-century-style nails. It has six raised beds and one 24-foot-long bed, with plantings that will change from year to year, always with an eye to reflecting period gardens.

The garden project was made possible through financial support by the M&T Charitable Foundation and Younger Toyota, and in-kind support by GRC General Contractor, Inc.

Permanent StoryWalk® Trail

A newly installed, permanent StoryWalk® children’s story trail at Pine Hill Recreation Area in Waynesboro opened on October 10, 2021. With pages of a children’s book mounted on signs along a park trail, the StoryWalk® stories change monthly.

Implemented by The Institute and funded in part by Summit Endowment, the project, Turning the Page on Movement, is designed to support Healthy Franklin County’s Community Health Improvement Plan by providing a fun way for families and children to exercise together in a beautiful outdoor setting. In addition to Summit Endowment, funding for this project was provided by Marge Kiersz and the Rouzerville Business Association, with in-kind support from Washington Township, Hopewell Manufacturing, Waynesboro Area School District “Be the Village,” and Alexander Hamilton Memorial Free Library.

The StoryWalk® Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library. StoryWalk® is a registered service mark owned by Ms. Ferguson.

Pennsylvania Chesapeake Champions

In partnership with Shippensburg University, The Institute was selected to help implement this multi-state Chesapeake Bay Watershed Education Initiative funded through NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and the National Geographic Society. The project provides professional development for middle school teachers in a cooperative educational effort to increase students’ understanding of our watershed and local connections to the Chesapeake Bay. Check out the video—the workshop for teachers conducted at The Institute on May 18, 2013 was captured by videographer Andrew Gehman.