Thanks to PTA support, the students, staff and families of Harrison Elementary will have a new space to celebrate in the spring of 2017! After twelve months of planning, designing and working with teachers, administration and private funders, the PTA is proud to announce the final plans for our “Big Idea” project — the Harrison Elementary Outdoor Classroom and butterfly garden.
Initial plans for this project included fruit trees and raised garden beds, however, after working with TAC and the staff at Harrison, the PTA learned that limitations on land availability and maintenance would jeopardize its success. As a result, we worked together to refocus the project around the idea of an outdoor classroom, a project that would still fulfill key project objectives.
The purpose of the project is twofold: to increase hands-on learning opportunities for Harrison students and to beautify the school grounds.
This fall a workgroup of teachers and parents met to prioritize the teachers’ desired outdoor classroom elements, solicited bids from vendors and reviewed the outdoor classroom designs from three local landscape companies. The winning design, selected by Harrison staff, was Kinghorn Gardens. Details on the layout and elements of the garden are noted at the links below.
The outdoor classroom will be located on the northwest side of the school, adjacent to the stairs exiting from the gymnasium. It will incorporate native Nebraska plants, trees and grasses as well as tiered seating for the students. The project will also incorporate a butterfly garden and bench as a memorial to our beloved counselor, Mrs. Beers, who passed away last summer. Landscaping will be fully funded by PTA revenue and a grant from the Omaha Men’s Garden Club. The Beers’ family has provided financial support for the memorial bench.
There is still plenty of work to be done to implement the project and a dedication ceremony will planned for the spring. The PTA will be responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the space so if you have a green thumb, or would like to lend a hand, please email us.
Special thanks goes to Indian Creek Nursery, Sun Valley Landscaping, Kinghorn Gardens, Mulhall’s Nursery and Gardening, City Sprouts and the Omaha Men’s Garden Club for their support and assistance during the process.
Check out the plans!