The NKE Arboretum is a large courtyard-like area in the middle of our school in Oregon, Wis. In recent years this space had become overgrown and largely unusable, but in March 2012, efforts began to renovate the space to turn it into a complete outdoor classroom and garden based on the Arbor Day Foundation’s Nature Explore Classroom. This is a completely volunteer effort and is supported solely by grants and donations.
The mission statement of the NKE Arboretum is:
The NKE Arboretum will serve to promote student learning by nurturing:
- an appreciation for diverse learners (multiple intelligences, learning modalities, interests) at our school
- creativity in the areas of art, music, exploration, fine motor skills, literacy and more
- an appreciation and understanding of nature and sustainability
- a love for healthy food and lifestyles
With the help of a volunteer landscape architect, the Friends of the Arboretum has a concept plan for the renovated outdoor classroom (click image for larger view):