An educational environment should be a stimulating cultural setting that encourages social interaction, provides opportunities to learn, and reduces student burnout. Positive window views of nature, comfortable outdoor spaces to gather, and a lush campus setting enhances learning, fosters restoration, and promotes student interaction. The outdoor environment is an extension of the classroom and improves student perceptions of the school overall.
A California Department of Education study from 2005 showed that sixth-graders improved their science scores by 27 percent after taking week-long outdoor education classes. Several University of Michigan studies have suggested that proximity to nature enhances people’s ability to concentrate. University of Georgia research clearly shows that students who can look out at greenery do better on math, reading and some other achievement tests than students with views of walls and parking lots. The University of Illinois found that exposure to greenery enhances the ability to deliberately pay attention.
SPROUT encourages site planning that allows outdoor views of nature from classrooms and the incorporation of outdoor learning areas, outdoor classrooms and comfortable outdoor meeting areas. It is important to provide places to interact with nature both in and out of a class setting to gain the benefits outlined in so many research studies.
SPROUT integrates sustainable design techniques into its campus projects by collecting and cleaning runoff in planted bioswales, preserving native vegetation and minimizing irrigation use. Tree plantings to provide passive energy savings and to create pleasant outdoor spaces are critical in the South Florida climate. Appropriate native landscapes from grassy wildflower meadows to wetland forests can restore wildlife habitat, provide places to learn, enable projects for student interaction and give each campus its unique sense of place.
Tree plantings to provide passive energy savings and to create pleasant outdoor spaces are critical in the South Florida climate.Read More
When landscapes take on personal meaning, complex physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual bonds form between people and nature.Read More
The home landscape is a living environment where families interact with a personalized expression of nature.