Outdoor Learning Environments » Outdoor Learning Environments

Outdoor Learning Environments


The Outdoor Learning Environment is to be beautiful, fun, functional, engaging, and reflective of the core values and principles of Lake Country School. It will serve as an extension of the classroom, providing students the opportunity to express their creativity and enhance their connection to the natural world. Please review our OLE Guidelines.

The Outdoor Learning Environment is designed to connect to The Great Lessons (Stories) of the Elementary Level. 

The Green Space

The “First Great Lesson” connects to the Green Space with the Beginning of the Universe and the Coming into Being of the Earth. The forms of the various spaces, gardens, and paths are inspired by forms found throughout the cosmos, reflecting the concept that the universe was born from a single point emanating ever-outward to form galaxies, stars, planets, and, ultimately, all life.

During the summer and fall of 2012, the Green Space, directly to the north of the parking lot, was transformed into the “First Great Lesson.”  The Council Ring at the center of the space signifies the beginning of the earth. Reading nooks, stone pathways, planting boxes and native plants create an atmosphere conducive to learning.

Side Lot, Front Lot, and School Entrance

The Side/Front Lots and the School Entrance tell the stories of the “Coming of Life” and the “Coming of Human Beings.” The forms of the Side Lot are inspired by protozoa and other microorganisms that formed the building blocks of life on our planet and could potentially include other symbology further expressing the second Great Lesson.

The front and side lots are intended to mirror early structures and use of natural materials for play. These may be rocks for jumping and climbing, sand for digging, a sliding stone and nets for climbing. 

A stone pathway forms the bridge that connects the Green Space with the side and front lots and marks the “Coming of Life.” This wonderful space can also be used as a “stage” community events.

The Parking Lot and School Entrance serve as a bridge in the telling of the “First Great Lesson” and the “Coming of Life.” The primary intent of the plan is to create an environment that is welcoming, beautiful, and begins to reflect the values of Lake Country School. 

Children's House Garden

The concept plan continues the telling of the “Coming of Human Beings” with a series of terraces reminiscent of terrace farming practices found throughout the world to create an interesting and varied space that provides many more opportunities than currently exist.

The Children’s House garden includes a watering activities that children can operate for tending to vegetation, areas for planting, and use of garden tools and space for digging.

Back Lot

A large, soft play surface is for team games such as soccer, kick ball, or other games appropriate to the space. Walks are landscaped areas that buffer the Back Lot from the street and provide a place for individuals or small groups to sit and observe, have a conversation, study, read, or simply hang out. Read more about the back lot turf.