Our journey to develop an Outdoor Classroom at Aberdeen School began in the Spring of 2014. At a Professional Development day, a new staff member overheard teachers talking about creating outdoor learning spaces at their schools. This immediately gave thoughts to developing our large Courtyard area here at Aberdeen. At that time, this was a contained grassy area with several trees, patio bricks plus some park benches. A few colleagues talked about this exciting possibility and thus started the Outdoor Classroom committee.
We began small with a thousand dollars from the school and a few local donations. We wanted students to play a big part in creating the Outdoor Classroom so they would take ownership of it. A few Grade Twelve IA students built 6 raised garden boxes for us. We had dirt hauled to school and the work began! Children used pails and wheelbarrows to haul the soil into the spaces. The younger grades worked like ants moving the dirt in and they loved it!
The following year, we continued with starting a butterfly garden. We hauled rocks to create a path that you could follow in this natural area filled with a variety of wild flowers. Perennials as well as annual flowers have been planted throughout this section as we continue to develop it more extensively.
In order to raise funds to support the Outdoor Classroom, we held two consecutive Art Galas in the big gym. Each student in Kindergarten to Grade Eight prepared one piece of art for the show. A large number of high school students and adults also participated. The Art Galas were very successful and contributed a lot of money for creating the space we have today.
Over the years we have applied for various grants and have received a few. This has allowed us to continue the development of the entire space and add more garden boxes, a garden shed, a pergola and most recently our kitchen addition. We are proud to say that the number one workers are still the students of Aberdeen School! The Grade Ten-Twelve IA classes were put to work building the pergola. We also purchased picnic tables and a fire pit to add to the kitchen area for classes to come and have wiener roasts, barbeques, enjoy a fire, or to prepare a dish with the food we have grown.
Thank you to all the Aberdeen families and staff for your continued support.
The Outdoor Classroom Committee