An outdoor nature classroom becomes reality thanks to Rosehill Gardens.
Phase I of Future Outdoor Nature Classroom Installed
At first glance, it doesn’t look like much: fledgling plants popping through a long black tarp along a brick wall. Dead leaves swirl among the puny plants.
But to the teachers at Martin City Elementary School, 201 E. 133 St., these plants are the beginning of a long anticipated dream: an outdoor nature learning center.
On Tuesday, November 9, volunteers from Rosehill Gardens planted a series of native Missouri plants in a hidden courtyard bordered by a special needs classroom and a wing of the elementary school.
The plants include: “The Blues” Little Bluestem Grass, “Decadence Blueberry Sundae” False Indigo, Goldstrum Black-eyed Susan, Prairie Dropseed, “Kobold” Liatris, ”Husker Red” Bearded Tongue and Swamp Milkweed.
“We have talked about this for years,” said Sherry McCombs, instructional coach at the school. McCombs along with five other teachers have been preparing for the past year. They have taken summer classes on how to better teach science at the elementary school level as well as being trained by the Missouri Department of Conservation.
After placing phone calls for grants, the teachers were able to get help from Rosehill Gardens. “It has been a wonderful partnership!” says McCombs. “I can’t say enough for Rosehill Gardens.”
Future phases include installation of a small pond, raised container gardens and benches and bird feeders.
“We want it to be a space where kids learn to explore and do science or just go outside and read or sit among nature,” she says.
Story by Kathy Feist
Photos by Guido Vescovi