Berkeley, CA, USA
Berkeley Technology Academy
A school forest for peace and learning
SUGi is delighted to bring yet another of its outdoor classrooms to students in Berkeley, with a new Miyawaki forest at Berkeley Technology Academy.
Berkeley Technology Academy (BTA) is a continuation high school diploma program designed to meet the needs of students aged 16-18, who have not graduated from high school, and are deemed at risk of not completing their education.
The site is currently an unused space with ornamental grass and a few shrubs that do little for biodiversity. By densely planting an abundance of native species, this project will create a protected pocket where wildlife can thrive in the middle of the city.
In restoring biodiversity, the forest at Berkeley Technology Academy will bring back blooming greenery, and the tranquil sights and sounds of nature. As such, it will be a space that cultivates calm and supports mental wellbeing for the teenage students of the Academy, as a reprieve from the chaos and digital overload of modern life.
Lastly, this forest will support the educational development of the students; the school has a Public Health career pathway where pupils learn about the importance of nature, fresh air and healthy food.
Forest Maker Neelam Patil
'The forest will be an amazing resource for our neighbourhood and a source of peace for our school community. It will improve air quality and be a place students can learn from and study.'
— Heidi Webb, Principal of Berkeley Technology Academy
'When we see natural greenery, the mind instinctively calms down. One feels at peace. Located on a busy thoroughfare, this forest will bring access to nature to many students, teachers, and community members.'
— Neelam Patil, SUGi Forest Maker