Students at in Johns Creek have broken in their outdoor classroom, thanks to an effort by the Barnwell Foundation to transform the school courtyard into a learning oasis. The group broke ground on the project last May.
The space was transformed from patchy ground susceptible to drainage issues to a landscaped space by Rupert Landscaping containing two learning areas lined with brick and stone that are also handicap accessible. One area contains bricks that students' parents can sponsor for $50, while the second space has bricks for the grandparents. There's also a separate game area with stone benches and tables.
The Barnwell Foundation is able to raise funds through private contributions without having to worry about school budgets, says Dean Casoglos, president of the foundation, which raised about $26,000 for the outdoor classroom.
"This has been a long time coming in the sense that for several years this has been really unattractive space, difficult to use," said Douglas Brown, Barnwell's principal. "It's refreshing for the students to be able to come out and enjoy nature, enjoy the sunshine but still be actively engaged in school activities."