I am in the beginning phases of designing an Educational Court Yard (Grades 5-8) and I am looking for some good case studies and/or experiences. What works, what doesn’t etc. etc…
We are in Zone 5, with semi- harsh winters, so I am roughly estimating that the space would be unused by students between Late November and Early April. But as one who used to stare out the windows in school, I would also want this space to be visually stimulating during this time.
This is a link to a woodland courtyard I designed for a High School with my previous firm… it was created using native plantings for our zone, and there is signage labeling each plant & an interpretative sign describing the succession process. It doubles as an outdoor classroom and gathering space…
I think that is a concept that 5th – 8th graders could easily grasp.
Denver Public Schools has had a program called Learning Landscapes that has renovated schoolyards in a creative fashion. It has been featured in LA Mag too. Google their website and you can scratch the surface of information.
As far as cold weather, I would say there are plenty of winter days that kids can and should get outside for recess so don’t dismiss thinking about winter character and use.
Best of luck.
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