Creating Outdoor Classrooms: Schoolyard Habitats and Gardens for the Southwest


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Schoolyard Habitat and Outdoor Classrooms

Openlands is thrilled to announce Peoples Gas as the Principal Sponsor of the Building School Gardens program for the next three years. Openlands hosts workshops for teachers, leads garden workdays for the school community, and works closely with leadership at the schools to create sustainable gardens and expand environmental education. Through this program, approximately 33, students are directly impacted by the school gardens each day in addition to the hundreds of teachers, parents, and community members. With the generous support of Peoples Gas, Openlands is now excited to announce that we can expand the Building School Gardens program to provide deeper connections to nature for students and their families during weekend trips to nearby large-scale landscapes such as Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie , Deer Grove Forest Preserve , or Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge.

Creating Outdoor Classrooms: Schoolyard Habitats and Gardens for the Southwest

Research also demonstrates that positive experiences in nature with a trusted adult are an predictor of future environmental stewards, and this informs the core of our education programs. Openlands is excited to have this new layer in our school partnerships because we know deeper relationships will lead to stronger advocates for the environment.

Openlands commits to long-term relationships with our Chicago Public School partners, working with students to see nature in a school garden, around their neighborhoods, and across landscapes. As our expertise in environmental education has grown over the years, we have developed new programs to help students recognize the nature around them and to engage entire school communities in conservation.

For more information on our education programs, please contact schools openlands. Davis Elementary officially opened their redesigned Space to Grow campus. After gathering input from community members, the Space to Grow team came up with a plan for the school. The new features at Davis Elementary include outdoor classrooms, new rain gardens and native plants, as well as three new age-appropriate playgrounds.

A stormwater management system is integrated across the campus which can capture , gallons of rain. The new campus also now includes a turf field, basketball courts, and surface track to promote physical wellness for students and community members.

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Space to Grow schoolyards like Davis are designed as welcoming green spaces not just for students and teachers, but also for the parents and residents of the surrounding community. Students, staff, parents, and community members are invited to participate in the inclusive planning process, allowing for the unique needs and vision of the entire school community to be communicated and addressed in the design. Rosales and Ms. You are the heart of Space to Grow!

Creating Outdoor Classrooms

Schools in the program all have recognized needs when the planning begins, such as lack of neighborhood green space, inadequate playgrounds for students, and regular local flooding, but from the beginning of the process we work closely with the communities to ensure the project meets their unique needs and has community champions. Alderman George Cardenas with Davis students. After first establishing our relationship with Davis through Building School Gardens, we are so pleased to see the school enhanced by their new Space to Grow campus.

Davis Elementary is the first of six schools to celebrate new schoolyards through the program in And next fall, the schoolyard will have new edible gardens donated by Big Green Chicago formerly the Kitchen Communtiy. Space to Grow is an award-winning, innovative program led by Healthy Schools Campaign and Openlands to transform Chicago schoolyards into vibrant outdoor spaces that benefit students, community members, and the environment. The hike highlighted our interwoven efforts to connect people to nature where they live by exploring green space in urban areas.

But nature surrounds us, even in the heart of the city, and is just as compelling. From there, groups headed out along parkways, through gardens, and under tree canopies.

Our Gardening Classroom - How To Teach With A Garden & Inculcate A Green Thumb

The next stop on the hike was the Monarch Community Garden, where we shared stories of our work through the years to create and support community gardens throughout Chicago. We discussed the importance of pollinators in everyday life and learned about ways to support local pollinator conservation. The ChiUrbanHike then ended, as all good hikes do, with local beer and snacks at the Boathouse.

We all came away excited to discover more and to share that excitement with other Chicagoans. Openlands ChiUrbanHike view the photos.

Growing the Outdoor Classroom: A Handbook on Gardening in Albuquerque…

You can check out our best photos from the day above and see what hikers shared on Instagram. Openlands is currently exploring different ways we can share the route of the hike as well as the information shared by our guides with the public so that everyone can explore the nature around them in Chicago. Openlands thanks our Advisory Council members for their leadership in planning and hosting the inaugural ChiUrbanHike.

If you are interested in learning more about the programs discussed along the way, please email info openlands. BMO Harris Bank is the Principal Sponsor of Building School Gardens, and through this program, approximately 33, students are directly impacted by the school gardens each day in addition to hundreds of teachers, parents, and community members.

All employees were encouraged to get out of the office and give back to their communities. In the Chicago area, more than employees contributed over 2, hours of service to 17 projects. Other volunteers worked with the school staff to facilitate outdoor lessons for the students. The school gardens at Hearst and AGC, which are planted with a mixture of annual and perennial plants, edible plants, and native plants, are used to connect students to the natural environment.


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This year in the garden, third graders practiced fractions using seed depth and square foot gardening; fourth graders applied their knowledge of erosion by planting cover crops; and middle schoolers explored and designed their own biomimicry, using patterns and concepts found in nature to create solutions to human problems. The garden is also an essential space where students can meditate, relax, and take breaks. This guide will be essential for landscape architects, school personnel, parents, and students.

Indeed, its principles can be used in designing schoolyard habitats across the country, while its information on gardening with native plants and wildlife will be useful to homeowners across the Southwest. Here at Walmart. Your email address will never be sold or distributed to a third party for any reason. Due to the high volume of feedback, we are unable to respond to individual comments.


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    Average rating: 0 out of 5 stars, based on 0 reviews Write a review. Tell us if something is incorrect. Book Format: Choose an option. Product Highlights Schoolyards have come a long way from the barren playgrounds that many people remember. Today's school campuses often feature gardens in which students can learn about native plants and wildlife, grow vegetables and fruit, explore cultural traditions, practice reading and math skills, and use their.

    Creating Outdoor Classrooms: Schoolyard Habitats and Gardens for the Southwest Creating Outdoor Classrooms: Schoolyard Habitats and Gardens for the Southwest
    Creating Outdoor Classrooms: Schoolyard Habitats and Gardens for the Southwest Creating Outdoor Classrooms: Schoolyard Habitats and Gardens for the Southwest
    Creating Outdoor Classrooms: Schoolyard Habitats and Gardens for the Southwest Creating Outdoor Classrooms: Schoolyard Habitats and Gardens for the Southwest
    Creating Outdoor Classrooms: Schoolyard Habitats and Gardens for the Southwest Creating Outdoor Classrooms: Schoolyard Habitats and Gardens for the Southwest
    Creating Outdoor Classrooms: Schoolyard Habitats and Gardens for the Southwest Creating Outdoor Classrooms: Schoolyard Habitats and Gardens for the Southwest

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