Our Outdoor Classroom is ever expanding and includes a farm with various types of gardens, a greenhouse, a windmill, a science classroom and more.
Miss Annie’s Farm at Covenant Christian School
Okay, so it’s not a “farm,” but we still like to call it that! Miss Annie’s Farm is our raised bed garden. Each class grades 3 to 6 has their own bed. The third grade class studies ancient Egypt, Rome and Greece so their farm bed is dedicated to plants that would have grown in those areas of the world during the historical period they study. The fourth grade class studies Shakespeare so their bed is dedicated to plants mentioned in Shakespeare’s works. The fifth grade studies Williamsburg and the early years of our nation so their bed is a Williamsburg/Jeffersonian garden. Finally, sixth grade (1850 to the present) studies World War II so their bed is a World War II Victory Garden.
In the spring of 2012 students planted blueberry, raspberry and blackberry bushes in the “Berry Patch” located adjacent to the school farm.
Covenant’s prairie was begun in in 2010 and receives support from the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Litzinger Road Ecology Center. The prairie has been expanded and a fence placed around it.
A designated portion of the property is the school’s “woodlands.” New trees have been planted regularly since the spring of 2010 thanks to a series of grants from Forest ReLeaf (www. moreleaf.org). The school will continue to plant trees over the course of time. Thus far, more than 60 trees have been planted.
Native Plant Garden
The Native Plant Garden was originally planted in the fall of 2010. Due to the construction of Covenant’s science classroom the native plant garden was moved in the fall of 2014. The garden is specifically designed to attract butterflies.
Whole Foods Market provided $2,000 toward the cost of a 6’x12’ greenhouse. In the greenhouse students are able to grow transplants for spring and fall planting in both our school’s vegetable garden and prairie.
The school has completed a standalone science classroom in the midst of the outdoor classroom.
The windmill is now in place and has the capability of pumping water from an existing rain collection barrel to a water storage barrel located in the “farm” from which students will draw water for their plants.
Outdoor art space was developed during the summer of 2012.
Speakers Circle/Performance Area/Fire Pit
The ability to stand before an audience in any number of situations and speak confidently is one of our goals for each of our students. Our speakers circle/performance area is one more venue for our students to share their words and gifts. The area consist of benches, a fire pit and a small stage.
Every child needs the opportunity to play in the dirt. While we don’t discourage children from playing in the dirt wherever they find it, we have designated an area for just that purpose. Dirt is wonderful. However, we draw the line at mud.
In April of 2012 Covenant completed a major renovation to the kitchen which allows for use by students.
These bins were constructed from scrap lumber during the school spring of 2011. Covenant’s fifth grade students are responsible for maintaining the bins and collecting compost to place in the bins.
An outdoor classroom display board was installed in the summer of 2013. The purpose of the display board is twofold. First, the board is used to display student science work conducted in the outdoor classroom. Second, the board provides the casual observer with information regarding their surroundings, anything from a cloud chart to a poster highlighting Missouri birds.
Ol’ Rustler is a snag (rotting tree) on the east side of the outdoor classroom. First grade student Maddie decided Ol’ Rustler would be a good name for the tree because its leaves were no longer rustling in the wind.
A student initiated project, Jordan’s Grove was the brainstorm of former fifth grade student Lindsay. Lindsay found a spot in the outdoor classroom for fruit trees, researched what kinds of trees might be good choices, ordered the trees and then supervised their installation which was completed by the fifth grade girls.