An idea planted just prior to the pandemic is now blossoming beside the BDS garden. Last week the construction of a beautiful wooden pergola was completed, and work continues to create a flexible outdoor learning space.
The custom-milled, 20-foot by 10-foot cedar pergola, secured on poured concrete footings, stands over a pea stone floor. The project was constructed by HomeHarvest of Arlington and was a team effort of planning and support by Kathy Jo Solomon, Anderson Santos, and Pati Fernández. Funding for the project was supported by grants from both the Lenesa Leana Endowment for Innovative and Collaborative Education and The Zofnass Family Environmental Sustainability Endowment.
The new learning area provides a more defined outdoor classroom space without closing off any of the benefits of being outside. The space is still developing with movable seating, work tables, and plantings in the works.
“Our hope, our intention, is that this space has no limit of how it may be used for instruction and learning. Science, dance, math, music, clubs, art, or whatever,” said Ms. Solomon. “This is an opportunity for the whole community.”
For the spring, as the area is finished, faculty who wish to use the space can contact Kathy Jo Solomon to coordinate. A more formal process for sharing the space and for curriculum development will be in place for the fall.