Comments by recipients of the Outdoor Classroom Program
Libby Leman first met two members of the WPPC at a teacher workshop, and subsequently followed up and received an outdoor classroom grant. The garden has been integrated into the curriculum by various teachers at the school
Spring 2019 –
As I reflect back on the past 5 years of working with Kris Hall and the WPPC organization, it’s been a journey of discovery for me, many students, parents, and staff members at Glacier Ridge School. Working together as a team to create a beautiful courtyard garden where we can all enjoy the native prairie and woodland flowers, monarch butterflies, and the bees has been extremely rewarding. I can truthfully say that without the support and guidance of the WPPC, this project would not have happened. It is with true gratitude that I commend the WPPC members for their valuable service to improving our local communities.
4th Grade Teacher
Glacier Ridge School
Crystal Lake, IL
My 7th grade Biology classes at Hannah Beardsley Middle School in Crystal Lake have been WPPC garden grant recipients for the past 7 years. Year after year it has been a great learning experience for all, in addition to “watching our garden grow.”
Student experiences have included: plant research which focused on the needs of the plant, garden design (which has been judged by WPPC members), garden preparation (large shovel work) and of course preparing plants for planting and planting the plants (small shovel work). We have also traveled to an elementary school and helped younger students plant their plants. Since 7th graders did not want to show up empty handed, they made native plant bookmarks to share with their new young friends.
In addition to student experiences, I have found the support of the WPPC group priceless. They helped me get our first few years of planting off the ground by spending the day with my classes. As mentioned above, they judge our garden designs. They have met me at school on the weekend and helped me burn our garden. Their words of advice, helpful suggestions and new friendships are greatly appreciated.
Our garden at Hannah Beardsley is unique as it is large and encompasses a dry (mesic) area and a wetland. Sun and shade also. Many of the neighbors have stopped by when we are out there working to comment on the beauty of the garden when blooming and that there was a noticeable difference in the amount of standing water after a rain. The media center director at school, whose large windows face the garden, comments on number of birds and butterflies she observes and how many students stand and stare at the landscape
Our garden area is used by the art classes for drawing, language arts classes for poetry writing and even our special services classes where they take their students outside to just “sit and absorb nature.”
This is such an incredible opportunity for all. I have students who are now in high school who stop by and find their plant! An experience remembered forever.
Sincerely written by,
Hannah Beardsley Middle School
7th Grade Biology Teacher
From the folks at Meadowland Church:
(Submitted by Brandie Dunn)
From site planning, to plant selection and ordering, we feel nothing but gratitude for the efforts of the WPPC that helped bring our vision of habitat in our space to life! In the spring of 2018, our congregation converted over 1000 sq ft of space to native plants. By the fall we were delighted to welcome and observe an array of new visitors, including monarchs, swallowtails and endangered bumble bees! Thank you WPPC for the vitally important, life-affirming work you are doing to help educate and inspire people to connect with the land, cultivating a ‘botanical sense of place’ and encouraging thoughtful stewardship principles at a time when we need it most!