Schoolyard Habitat established: 2013

Worthington Hooker Schoolyard Habitat Sign

Mission

Worthington Hooker School is committed to nurturing the growth and development of our students through the study of the environment, awakening in them their responsibility for environmental stewardship through the design and care of a school yard habitat, using our space as a vehicle to learn about, and care for, the natural world.

Our Schoolyard Habitat Project

The students, teachers and parents at Worthington Hooker School (WHS) began the transformation of their schoolyard environments in 2012 with vegetable and pollinator gardens.   With the help and guidance of the Schoolyard Habitat Program, in 2014 we expanded our bird and butterfly habitat areas, including a meandering nature path and rock garden, designed by the 3rd and 4th graders. The older grades constructed an outdoor classroom with log seating.  The hard work in the spring was rewarded by a festive unveiling party in June and by exuberant blooms and visiting Monarchs in the fall.

This year WHS Master plan projects include:

  • Shoring up and inter planting the existing habitats for more winter bird food and milk weed plants.
  • Organizing a compost system and area for studying bugs and microbes
  • Outfitting on site discovery boxes with field guides, binoculars, magnifying glasses, etc.
  • Building and installing wren, bat and bee houses
  • Expanding the habitat area along edge of playing field and including elements for active play as well as wildlife cover- such as logs, boulders and low trees.
  • Engaging the students in a feasibility study for future wetland or rain garden project
  • More creative uses like habitat inspired creative writing and music with visiting HOTS artists.

 

The third and fourth graders will lead the habitat design effort again this year. Sixth, seventh and eighth graders will help with research, budget supplies, and build bird houses. Fifth graders will be in charge of farming the vegetables. We continue to engage the K-2 grades through their seed and butterfly curriculums and salad days.