How Would You Grade Your Campus Landscape?
If you wouldn’t give it an “A,” these suggestions can help
The learning environment doesn’t stop at the classroom door. Increasingly, K through 12 schools are turning their eyes to the outdoors, evaluating how to create inviting spaces which stimulate young minds and make their campuses more competitive. Here are some ideas to explore:
Increase Curb Appeal
Don’t underestimate the effects of color. Seasonal color programs help create visual interest that is welcoming to parents and students alike. Consider adding pops of color to signage, at the entryways of buildings, or in common areas where students gather. Color displays in your school colors can generate excitement and reflect pride before a big game. Around the holidays or summer break, vibrant plantings can help ease stress before end-of-term tests.
Maintain Winning Sports Fields
Win or lose, you’re proud of your athletic teams. Give them top-notch playing fields that reflect their dedication and keep them safe. Having a professional assess your current field design — including the drainage and irrigation — can reduce liability and ensure cost-effective maintenance in the long term. Not every field requires a renovation to reach its full potential, but sports turf does require a specialized maintenance plan to keep it in top form and ensure a consistent playing surface. More than just mowing, this includes aeration, irrigation, regular turf health monitoring, and measures to protect the field during special events and harsh weather.
Make Room for Green Thumbs
Time to get their hands dirty! Student gardens get kids out from behind a desk and into nature. These fun additions can take many forms. Edible gardens support health and wellness and provide a hands-on opportunity to teach valuable lessons in nutrition. A garden of native, drought-resistant plant material can support lessons in sustainability. Or, consider creating a butterfly garden. Kids will be delighted by their new visitors.
Find Common Ground
When the weather is beautiful, why not take the learning outside? Well-designed common areas not only provide comfortable, safe spaces for students to gather and socialize during their leisure time, but they can also do double duty as an outdoor classroom. Creating attractive common areas doesn’t necessarily entail a high price tag or high maintenance. Hardscape can be used creatively to create durable, maintenance-free bench seating in interesting patterns that can accommodate generations of students to come.