Coolidge Schoolyard Habitat Project
Fall Clean up Day a Success!
Added compost to beds
Add protective coating to wood fence
Fixed paint on chalkboard
Removed invasive plants
Added Spring bulbs
Added roof top to habitat sign
Staked down posts
Thank you to our wonderful volunteers!
Upcoming Garden/Habitat Meetings:
Join us to discuss the upcoming gardening season ans future plans to our schoolyard habitat.
Please e-mail or call Kellie Stark with any questions or concerns you may have: firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-744-2705, ext. 15629
Hope to see you here!
The Coolidge Habitat/garden project has begin again for the 2016-2017 school year. Ms. Stark is running a Garden Club for Coolidge students during second recess on Tuesdays for Coolidge students. The club will meet weekly in the habitat and art room to engage in activities related to the environment, science and gardening. Parent volunteers are needed to help with this enrichment club. Students will have an opportunity to learn new skills, make eco-friendly crafts and help maintain our school garden throughout the school year!
What are the goal/s of this project?
Connections to our K-4 science curriculum:
Students in all five grade levels experience science standards and benchmarks that stress the importance of observation and understanding of plants and animals in their natural environment. The life cycles of butterflies for starters is covered in kindergarten and first grade, which could be easily observed in our outdoor habitat. All grade levels are exploring the characteristics and properties of plants, so the ability to see these beyond a book or image is extremely valuable to our students. Plants and animals can be identified by observable traits and physical characteristics.
Students will be able feed and observe animals and insects in their natural environments. Students will be able to first hand make observations and identification of different plant and animal life in the habitat. The food cycle/food chain is easily observable in a natural setting where students can explore and record their experimental data, hypothesis and conclusions.
Description of the Project:
The Coolidge Schoolyard habitat project has taken a three-walled alcove located in the front of our building and transformed this empty space into an outdoor classroom for nature study. As we broke ground in March through April of 2015, we tilled and turned the soil in specific planting areas. Raised dirt berms were added to create height and interest to the landscape. A center sitting area was defined and enhanced with the addition of large logs for classes to sit. Gravel or mulch-lined pathways were created to travel through the area, so students and staff may interact and view the varieties of plants, insects and animal life the habitat invites. The center of the habitat is currently set with a formal sidewalk, which will be buffered with rocks and landscape edging to help protect plants and wildlife from human and salt damage. Throughout the habitat, a good variety of native Michigan plant species have been planted and labeled to help students learn proper names. Bird and butterfly feeders were built for year-round viewing from our school's windows. One corner of the habitat showcases five raised beds, which individual classes or whole grade levels may plant vegetables and flowers for educational and community purposes. We plan to continue adding plants, additional landscaping, formal fencing and possibly a water feature in the upcoming year or two. With help from our garden committee, we plan to maintain and manage the habitat's successful growth into future years.