The Curren Outdoor Classroom Project began in May 2013 when second grade students studied local habitats, native animals, and native plants of Ventura County and Oxnard Region. A part of the unit of study included a presentation by Mike Glenn and Chris Dellith, USFWS biologists, about native plants and native animals.
Student interest in local habitats and native species grew and teachers requested information from, Mike Glenn, about the Schoolyard Habitat program (SYH). From November of 2014 through May of 2015 interest for creating the Curren Outdoor Classroom grew among teachers, support staff and parents as students researched local endangered species. Third grade students, teachers, and parents took a specific interest in the plight of Monarch butterflies and the threats it faces.
Students worked together to identify these specific threats and develop strategies that could help this species overcome these threats. One of these strategies was to learn the life history of Monarch butterflies and its needs to survive. The students learned that creating native gardens will provide habitat for Monarch butterflies to forage and reproduce helping in the recovery of this species. The outcome resulted in a plan for the creation of monarch butterfly, lizard, hummingbird, and natural pollinator habitat on campus.
The front Schoolyard Habitat, Native Chumash Garden, primarily consists of native plants used by Chumash peoples. The trailhead kiosk includes a trail map and Chumash Languages Key. Along the path, plant labels state the plant’s common, scientific, and Chumash names, and the QR code provides further plant information.
The back Schoolyard Habitat, Native Pollinator Garden, focuses on native plants that attract butterflies, moths, birds, bees, and other pollinators.
The Schoolyard Habitats are a place of wonder, exploration, and environmental education. You are welcome to visit! To find out more and how to volunteer for maintenance days or participate in the Schoolyard Habitat Committee, please contact the Schoolyard Habitat Committee Chairperson, firstname.lastname@example.org or the school office. You may also want to visit Twitter @CurrenOutdoorClassroom or https://currenschoolyardhabitat.blogspot.com for updated information.