Native Plant Park
Recycling | Composting | Enviro Club | Curriculum Integration | Phases | Plants | Do's and Don'ts | History
of Environmental Activities
creation of a third naturalized area at the southeast corner of the school
had a three-fold purpose. First, there was a desire to create another
area to study butterflies, insects and birds as part of the science curriculum.
There was also a need to create an area to shelter students from the sun
and wind. A third important purpose of this new naturalized area was to
assist in correcting a persistent drainage problem.
III site is an exposed area that is hot and sunny in the summer, cold
and windy in the winter. The characteristics of the site match very closely
with that of a prairie grassland and, in fact, the area was likely a grassland
long before the school was built. An outer pathway of crushed gravel and
clay surrounds an octagonal area planted with native grasses and forbs
(wildflowers) that are often found in the Foothills Fescue Grassland.
The prairie is surrounded by four benches and a picnic table, as well
as three groupings of sandstone boulders. There are no plants around the
boulders, so the rocks are fair targets for students to sit, jump, and
play on. Several groupings of spruce, poplar, ash, Ponderosa pine and
Shubert Chokecherry and a small shrub border provide some protection from
wind and sun and create a sense of enclosure within the Prairie Circle.
were involved in planting the prairie plants. Over a one week period in
June 1999, pairs of students participated in planting a total of 350 native
plants. In June 2000 four new trees were added to the site (three Ponderosa
Pine and one Shubert Chokecherry). Two interpretive signs were installed,
which provide information about prairie grasslands and the specific plants
in the Prairie Circle. A human sundial has been painted on the pavement
adjacent to the Prairie Circle, where students can tell the time by the
position of their shadow.