Hello, everyone.  Just wondering how many of you are interested in/working on outdoor classrooms and gardens on school grounds.  Would love to share ideas, resources, and current events!-

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We have outdoor classrooms and gardens at Conserve School where I work. I would be happy to learn what others are doing and share our experience. There is a page (a bit out of date) about it on our website: http://www.conserveschool.org/CommunityGarden

Great, Stefan! Have you had any experiences training or mentoring educators as they transition from an indoor classroom to an outdoor setting? Were you an educator who started out indoors and then discovered? The outdoor classroom? I was teaching 5th grade in Ft. Worth when I discovered the outdoor classroom: our school garden, field, and dry creekbed and woods in the middle of the 'burbs.

Hi Scott,

I am very interested in outdoor classroom/school garden concept.  I currently work in a school in Queens, NY that has a parking lot as a play space, with a traditional playground off to the side.  I am going to be putting together some ideas for a natural playscape and garden area- I'd like to incorporate native plants, a small cutting area, a small pond, etc... (to be used for hands on exploration of curriculum as well as a calming place to present lessons). The natural playscape would be great for the kids as well.  This is a private school, so the funding isn't there, but hopefully I can find resources in the area to help with cost- Any ideas please let me know!

Are you familiar with resources, books and online, regarding design and building a team, etc? If not, I know Herb Broda has a couple of really good books, and he happens to be posting on this site. Also, the www.realschoolgardens.org resource page has some resources. Do you have others in your school interested in the project?

Scott,

We haven't work with transitioning educators. However, we do have a partnership with the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point were each year we have 16 graduate students working and studying at our school as they earn their masters in natural resources with a focus on residential environmental education. (http://www.conserveschool.org/gfree) We also hold teacher training for Advanced Placement Environmental Science Teachers in June each year and as part of that week long training we incorporate the use of our campus lakes, gardens and forested grounds. (http://www.conserveschool.org/apsi). 

Recently I have been interested in the work being done by The Kitchen Community with Learning Gardens. Their materials may be a bit pricey, but they look good and seem to be making an impact in some schools. (http://vimeo.com/channels/thekitchencommunity)


Scott Feille said:

Great, Stefan! Have you had any experiences training or mentoring educators as they transition from an indoor classroom to an outdoor setting? Were you an educator who started out indoors and then discovered? The outdoor classroom? I was teaching 5th grade in Ft. Worth when I discovered the outdoor classroom: our school garden, field, and dry creekbed and woods in the middle of the 'burbs.

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