Harris Outdoor Garden Classroom

Harris Outdoor Garden and Science Classroom Project

  • In 2013 Harris Elementary had a 12,000 square foot courtyard that was not accessible to many of our student population.  

    A project began...  

    With help from organizations such as Lowe's Heroes Program, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, The Decatur Education Foundation, and many student, teacher and parent volunteers we have been able to turn the courtyard into a working outdoor classroom.  

    Beginning in the Spring of 2014, A Garden Club was formed and classrooms began to organize ideas for this space.  The DPS 61 maintenance crew came in and removed many dead and diseased trees that created a wide open space for us to begin work.  Several classrooms received grants for birdhouses and the second grade received a grant for a natural butterfly garden.  Lowe's Volunteers came in and helped with delivering and providing materials for landscape, installation and building of many of our projects.  The IDNR funded our butterfly garden and birdhouse projects.  Fourth graders planted salsa and tomatoe sauce gardens in raised beds funded by the Decatur Education Foundation.  The Foundation funded many grants for our classrooms for Earth Day and we have been able to plant sensory gardens in potted plants, trees, install rain barrells, and we have a working worm farm!  

    This area has been such an asset to our students this school year and we look forward to the projects and opportunities this space can provide for our school and community!  


    Please check out our Facebook Page at Harris Elementary (we have the Panda Profile Picture)!  We update weekly with the projects that are happening!