Ribbon cut for Brielle school’s transformed courtyard

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Members of the Brielle Education Foundation look around the elementary school’s newly transformed courtyard prior to the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the project held June 10. MARK R. SULLIVAN/THE COAST STAR

BRIELLE — A year’s community effort culminated on Thursday morning in a formal ribbon-cutting for the new outdoor courtyard classroom at Brielle Elementary School.  

The June 10 ceremony was attended by school administrators, school board members, donors and members of the Brielle Education Foundation [BEF], which undertook the project and brought it to fruition.

 “We’re just happy to provide the children with an outdoor space during the pandemic,” said Staci Cali, BEF president.

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“We’re so happy it’s finally completed,” added Danielle Palmisano, BEF treasurer.

The transformed courtyard has blue amphitheater seating sheltered under a bright yellow canopy, as well as 10 round patio tables, eight benches and a paver walkway. Its new landscaping includes shrubs such as milkweed and yarrow that attract endangered monarch butterflies, as well as planter boxes where students cultivate sustainable vegetables and flowers. 

Students have already used the courtyard for lunch, outdoor classes and other activities, as the last-minute finishing touches were completed. 

The foundation began a fundraising campaign and received an enthusiastic response from the community. In all, more than $100,000 was raised for the project, so that no taxpayers dollars were used. 

“As administrators and teachers, we are forever grateful for what you have done for the children. What you did is monumental. It wasn’t easy. You knocked on a lot of doors. This is money well spent for the kids,” School Superintendent Christine Carlson told the foundation members.

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