The recommended steps for creating successful outdoor classrooms and nature trails are similar and require careful, upfront planning since many of the components are fixed and would be difficult to change after installation.
A team of at least 4 people including teachers, school staff, and community members and define their roles.
Depending on your school district and school you may need approvals before getting started. Note that this may take some time.
Understanding the purpose and usage of the classroom or trail is important to complete early in the process. Things to consider include:
Considerations for a site should include:
Design your site based on your usages plans and class sizes. Consider the type and number of seats, shade, and whiteboard needs.
Testing your ideas is important - setup a few temporary seats and a whiteboard in the desired location and see if it works. For example, you might find that having the white board face east might be best tom minimize sun reflection.
Other considerations include:
List all of the items that will need to be obtained for the classroom. Consider items like:
Some options include fundraising, material donations, and grants.
A usage plan will include scheduling for multiple classes and direct teach vs exploritory learning.