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Forest Hills School Courtyard

reduce reuse recycleThe courtyard theme is “Celebrate the Community of Minnesota”.  The mission is to provide students and faculty with a place to gain an appreciation of the great outdoors while learning about their local community and stewardship to their surrounding environments as well as themselves. The garden is divided into the three main ecological zones of Minnesota; the Big Woods, the North Woods, and Prairie communities along the eastern glass wall. The main feature of the courtyard is the compass patio. A compass is used to guide or orient one while hiking. Here it symbolizes how we help students navigate through life and guide them in the right direction. Throughout the garden, there are many opportunities to explore with two main accessible paths, a prairie path, and stepping stone paths. Along these paths are educational markers about the State of Minnesota. The majority of materials used to create this environment are already found on site. The concrete will be cut into flagstone shaped pieces to be used for pathways, timbers from the raised beds will be built into a cabin, bridges and benches. Plant materials will be saved and replanted. The garden will look best in Spring and Fall when students are present. Plants chosen will be of low maintenance and easy to care for. Water from the downspouts of the school will flow directly into stream beds that flow into the culvert, thus eliminating erosion and lower level flooding.