Prescott garden provides education and adventure

Community, education, and the great outdoors all come together in the Prescott Elementary Community Park. Beginning in 2010, the school worked with the Nature Explore organization to create a Certified Outdoor Classroom at Prescott Park, which also serves as the students’ playground. Prescott was able to the incredible outdoor space they have today by utilizing funds raised during the school Walk-a-Thon and gaining support from a variety of community members and Prescott Families. 

The project began with the installation of a walking path and from there grew into an elaborate outdoor space consisting of a rain garden, bridge, gazebo, and stage, along with park benches, raised beds, and designated learning areas. In spring of 2021, Prescott families built five new raised beds to revitalize the garden space. these beds hold a variety of vegetables and flowers.  

Opportunities for students to learn are plentiful in the Park. Students can explore and see a functional waterfall pond with fish, wood blocks to play with, gardening tools for kids, musical instruments, chimes, and even bird houses. The park even has a station where students can dig up a saber tooth tiger fossil! All of these features are surrounded by mulched walking pathways, wildflowers, and trees.

Teachers engage students in learning outside in the outdoor classroom. Currently at Prescott, new curriculum kits are being developed to current state standards so that even more teachers can utilize the outdoor space for class time and weave nature into curriculum. Prescott is also planning to put in another matching set of 5 raised beds within the next few years to dedicate garden space for school without losing the beds that community members care for in the Park.

Several community events are held at the park annually to promote interaction among hundreds of students, parents, teachers, and community members. The space is an asset to both the school and the surrounding neighborhood.