It’s been a long, crazy few months, but I am very excited about a project I’ve been heading up: my kids’ school is getting a spectacular sustainable outdoor classroom.

The schools is one of 30 in Nebraska that is part of the Sustainable Schoolyards Partnership. The funding we got as part of the SSP is allowing us to convert what was a muddy, mucky walkway into a space planted with lots of native trees, shrubs, grasses, and perennials–a low-maintenance space where kids can get outside and learn about the nature that grows here naturally.

An army of volunteers started installing it on Saturday. Tomorrow, the entire school will help finish planting. Over 500 students and parent volunteers will put in around 300 plants. It’s going to be amazing!

outdoor classroom 3
Coral berry along the school building. These shrubs are native to the region and will fill in, creating habitat for birds. The berries stay on all winter, providing great color during a drab season.


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Low-grow sumac. Those shrubs will spread 6-8 feet, filling in the space near the parking lot. The leaves turn brilliant red in the fall.


outdoor classroom 1
We have viburnum and a couple of Kentucky coffee trees that will shade the area in the future.
Big project underway!
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