The ground-breaking for our district's Native Plant Outdoor Classroom was held on Friday, April 22. The goal was to convert a patch of grass into a "walkable" field trip for any classroom or after-school program in the district. The new space is also meant to inspire community members to consider converting part of their own lawn from high-maintenance grass to low-water natives.
The project was possible only through the kind contributions of many partners. Funding was provided by two grants: the SMILE/4H Youth Engage grant and the Project SOLV Earthday grant. The school board kindly contributed the 5,300 sq. ft. space next to the tennis courts. Vince Perez gave tirelessly of his time, effort, expertise and materials to remove sod and help build up the terrain. The SMILE students designed the area and helped with planting. Mrs. Brown's Environmental Science students and some of Mr. Blanchard's tennis players contributed important labor when it seemed the ground would not be prepared for planting day.
The garden is not finished by any means. We are still working on irrigation, and look to place additional plants, interpretive signs, and landscape rocks in the future. If you have ideas or materials to contribute, please contact Ken Dickey or Vince Perez.
The Native Plant Outdoor Classroom belongs to the entire school district. Feel free to visit several times throughout the year to see how the garden develops.