The area had been used as ball fields when the school hosted K-4th grade, but when the school was converted to preschool, the field was not being used.
After a concept design phase and funding secured, we broke ground in June 2014.
This initial design phase lasted into the summer--placing boulders, putting up sheds and pergolas, and a brick and gravel walkway.
Raised Beds were installed in September with the help of amazing and powerful volunteers: Maricopa Master Gardeners and Bank of America.
In October the teachers and staff of ML King were able to take their first tour of the Outdoor Classroom.
United Way brought corporate volunteers from Ernst and Young Accounting to help us prepare the ground and paint an amazing mural with our mascot--the Monarch Butterfly!
The Garden Party was an amazing success! Truly a joint effort between the Roosevelt School District teachers and staff, the Roosevelt Head Start teachers and staff, and the Roosevelt Family Resource Center maintained by the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension in Maricopa County.
With the help of our friends at the Arizona Nursery Association, Boyce Thompson Arboretum, the Southwest Herbies, and many generous donors over 400 plants were installed!
Children were able to begin using the site in January 2015. What a hit!
Our first theme was outdoor recreation. REI loaned us some fun equipment through the PEAK program.
Our Great Outdoors Festival held in February was really the grand opening for students and their families. We welcomed the community with lots of fun outdoor and nature activities!
Hands-On Greater Phoenix brought in corporate volunteers for a Spring Upgrade--adding signage, balance logs, more trees, and farm facades.
And in April 2015, the Outdoor Classroom had the honor of being the setting for Secretary of Education Arne Duncan's visit and speech about the importance of high quality early childhood education.
2014-2015, what a year!
What is next? Stay tuned!