Sustainable Outdoor Environments
All students should have the opportunity to interact with nature to establish an understanding and appreciation for the natural world. By providing clean, well maintained, and sustainable outdoor spaces that integrate with the existing native landscape, our campuses provide essential ecological services and serve as outdoor classrooms. In addition, studies have shown that time spent with nature improves student health, behavior, and promotes learning.
What we do
Native Landscaping: Many of our schools have native landscaping with Missouri native plant species including two sites, Barretts Elementary and the Administration Center, that are designed as a native prairie. Utilizing native landscaping reduces the need for irrigation and provides ecological benefits such as wildlife habitat, food for pollinators, and stormwater management.
Gardens and Outdoor classrooms: We support student groups, PTO's, and teachers who would like to plant outdoor produce, pollinator, or rain gardens. In many cases, produce grown at the school is used in the daily salad bar. Providing students with the opportunity to interact with the environment allows them to understand the value of preservation as environmental stewards. Spending time in nature has also been shown to improve student academic and behavioural performance in school.
What you can do