Natural Grounds/ Environmental Education
Highland Community School is committed to educating for sustainability. Research shows that in order to develop a strong sense of responsibility for the natural environment, we must regularly connect with a piece of land under the guidance of a caring mentor who displays concern for the environment. To create that reality for Highland students, Highland launched the Natural Grounds Redevelopment Project (Natural Grounds). Natural Grounds is a plan to transform our 2.5 acre school playground into an green laboratory for students with a comprehensive education component. We aspire to develop a robust environmental education program including an outdoor educational green landscape, stormwater management system, water conservation, urban sustainable food production & nutrition, and renewable energy. From bioswales to hoop houses to natural playground equipment, we are creating a space where children can connect with the environment on a daily basis.
With a full time Science and Environmental Education Coordinator, we are able to offer a wide variety of activities that plant and cultivate the seeds of a strong environmental ethic in our children. The Natural Grounds project is a demonstration of how living systems can serve the triple bottom line:
- Economic: The problems that the next generation will be challenged to solve will require Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) yet we struggle as a country with literacy in these subjects. Our environmental education program brings STEM education to life and provides young people with the necessary academic skills and the environmental awareness to prepare for leadership roles in the STEM field in the future.
- Social: The evidence is clear—spending time outdoors is good for children’s minds, bodies and souls. Green spaces on the school grounds connects students to the natural environment on a daily basis.
- Environment: We believe that this project will have a ripple effect, inspiring children to take care of the environment that sustains us.