SCHOOLYARD LIVING LABORATORY
The links above are garden lab examples for a living laboratory and outdoor classroom experience.
Outdoor education classrooms incorporating Native Plant Pollinator Gardens are an affordable way to engage students, teachers and parent volunteers in a school garden design that contributes to the health of your watershed and provides habitat for local pollinators. There are endless opportunities for science, language arts, history and art lessons to be inspired by the garden.
Bonus: Native plants start blooming in early spring and many last through October so they are still around for a good portion of the school year. The answer to” Why Native plants? ” is the springboard for teaching about environmental stewardship, our watershed and ecosystem. The plants’ seeds and various parts have been used by native americans and settlers which provides history opportunities as well as life science lessons. Once established these gardens are relatively low maintenance and self sustaining as many native plants are returning perennials and drought tolerant.
The Native Plant model for a Schoolyard Living Laboratory provides a “place based learning” opportunity for your school community to understand its impact on the ecosystem and can be a jumping off point or key component in becoming a Green School.
The Abundant Backyard offers the following services with regards to helping organizations plan, design and install a sustainable garden.
Abundant Schoolyard Native Plant Starter Kit- Based on 4 years of research and testing in the school garden- this kit includes .( Cost- based on size of garden and number of plants needed)
a variety of locally grown spring through fall blooming plants(either 5 inch pots or seeds),
historical background sheets for each flower, planting directions,
worm compost and
wooden plant labels.
Schoolyard Living Laboratory Garden Curriculum for K-8 – "ready to teach" labs to engage students with hands on learning in garden.
Introductory/preliminary 2 hour consultation
with lead staff or volunteer(s) considering a sustainable garden at their church, school or community organization. As a result of the two hour consult your group will receive the following:
- clarification of your vision, intended use of garden space
- suggestions for additional key players to have involved in the process
- ideas and examples for potential garden features
- budgeting guidelines
- tips for engaging students, teachers , parents, community members as needed.
- Key points to consider for building your case for support for the garden in your institution.
- Potential sources of funding as dictated by the goals of your project.
*Garden Design and Implementation Plan- cost varies depending on time involved.
*Volunteer Training - Workshop to educate your garden volunteers and/or staff in sustainable gardening practices and identification of necessary roles volunteers can play in creation and maintenance of your space.
*Care for Creation Activities K-8- to engage children in faith based communities through hands on garden stewardship and environmental education.
*Garden Buddy for your Volunteer Garden Workers- organizes workdays, develops roles and works to manage garden ground breaking and maintenance.
(*Costs vary depending on scope and scale of project and number of participants for each organization. An analysis and needs assessment is developed in coordination with your lead contact and proposal for time and materials is provided.)
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