Here it is, the culmination of something I have poured my heart and soul into for the past two years: the outdoor classroom is in! I applied for the main grant for this space two years ago. That school year, a group of curious kids helped investigate the school as part of the grant, and then we waited for district approval (these things take time). But after two years of preparation, it’s a reality. My kids’ school has a spectacular outdoor classroom. (Well, it will be spectacular, once it’s had a chance to grow.)

Tuesday1

Kentucky coffee tree, catmint, goldenrod, yarrow, coral berry, and prairie dropseed.

Today, we had more than 50 adult volunteers overseeing planting by the entire student body–more than 500 students!

Tuesday2

Dallas blues switchgrass (along fence), purple coneflower, goldenrod, catmint, blue star, New Jersey tea, blue false indigo.

Everyone, from kindergarteners to fifth graders, helped put in plants.

Tuesday3

New Jersey tea, purple coneflower, goldenrod, viburnum, silky dogwood, black-eyed Susan.

Some kids were getting dirty for what may have been the first time. And they loved it. It was fabulous!

Tuesday4

More of the same. So many plants!

Later this week, we’ll add the mulch. There are unplanted areas (off the path) where classes will be able to gather to investigate nature. Or take measurements for math. Or write poetry. Or read. It’s really a  multi-purpose classroom.

Tuesday5

Buttonbush (look it up, it’s gorgeous), coral berry, yarrow, prairie dropseed.

Okay, it doesn’t look like much–yet. But all of these plants will be huge next year. And blooming. And it will really be something. I can’t wait to see how it looks!

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