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The Gordon School

Planting a new garden

Eighth graders design, build outdoor classroom with support of a fourth grade family

This week, eighth graders began construction on a new garden and outdoor learning space.

The project grew directly out of a grade-wide collaborative design lesson but has its roots in the many years these eighth graders have spent playing and learning in Gordon's outdoors.

In early April, eighth grade math students worked in teams to design the first stages of a new garden and outdoor learning space. Students needed to stretch their imaginations, and their knowledge of local plant life, while also developing a budget and preparing a pitch as to why their design should be chosen. The eighth grade voted on their top presentation while integrating a greenhouse and separated learning spaces that were included in other presentations.
The result was a true collaboration, and construction has already begun. A team of eighth graders are spending their service learning time assembling the first raised beds, and a number of fruit trees are already in the ground. This work will pave the way for the rest of the school to help in the building process starting in the fall of 2022.
Gordon is grateful for Karen and Michael Isenberg’s financial support of this project and for their commitment to Gordon’s strategic vision. This outdoor learning space will include a garden space for each grade level and an outdoor classroom for whole class instruction that sparks joy in all those who enter. Through the use of regenerative and sustainable agriculture practices, students will have the tools to become thoughtful stewards of Gordon's most valuable resources: the people, the campus, and the natural world.

If you have questions about how you can support this project or other projects like these, please reach out to Alexandra O’Connor, Director of Philanthropic Engagement at

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