Schoolyard Habitats consist of three basic elements-shelter for wildlife such as a bird house, water source for wildlife and plants native to the area. When you visit the school pages, note the unique elements included for each, including seating for students, teacher podium, shelter from sun, walking paths and much more. Currently, we are working with South Garden and Learning Center (formerly Garfield) and St Vincent de Paul School in Peoria.
Schoolyard Habitat Sponsors:
Krumholz Landscape and Excavating, The Dan Kenny Family, Harry Wilson, Peoria Park District, Evelyn and Christine Seitz, Midwest Adopt-A-School Garden Award, Anonymous (Fencing), Ken Clubb (Illustrator/Designer), SVDP Girl Scout Troop 4724, Mantis Grant, The Junior League of Peoria, Luthy Botanical Garden, Peoria Garden Club, Illini Brick and Stone, Arbor Day Foundation, Anna Stipe, Bethany Baptist Church Living Stones Group, Ron and Sue Bachman of Windmill Creek Ranch, West Central Illinois Building and Construction Trades Council, Multi-ad (Peoria, Il), Amy Kott and family, Loretta Grob, Cara Campbell and family, The Piasse Family, Yvonne Carmack, Colleen Runkle, Molly Knight and Julie Foley, Bev Harpham, Naomi Harpham, Marie Harpham, Denise Antonacci, Linda Meisenhelther, Eileen Lohr, Eleanore Benin, Lucy Parmelee, McBride & Schoff (Metamora, Il), Aaron Robbins Trucking, Pat and Michelle Cusack, Greg Scherter and family, Mary Nemeth, Dr. Amy Christison, Amy Ward, Molly Reed, Shelia Ogilvie, Ron Little, Tina Gauwitz, Linda VonBehren, Michele Teske, SVDP Women's Guild, Living Waters, Neighborhood House, Better Earth, Mary Nemeth, Kickapoo Sand and Gravel
These habitats provide students with unique learning opportunities that enhance school curriculum and provide teachers of all subject areas with unique, hands-on opportunities for meeting and exceeding standards of learning requirements. Three distinctive objectives are introduced with a habitat:
1. Promotion of knowledge and concern for the environment so as to elicit stewardship in students.
Ecological psychology: dismisses the notion that the meaning of nature is cognitively construed. From an environmental standpoint...if Nature is no longer natural, there's no reason anymore to attempt to preserve it.
Environmental generational amnesia: People take the natural environment they encounter as normal even when continued degradation has occurred. With each ensuing generation, the amount of environmental degradation increases, but each generation takes the degraded condition as the non-degraded condition, as the normal experience. We lose daily, intimate positive affiliations with nature and accept negative experiences (such as pollution) as the norm; we suffer physically and psychologically and hardly know it.
2. Facilitates personal growth.
Problem-solving, reduction of ADHD symptoms along with skills enhancement ascertained through outdoor activity have been recently researched. gitm NCLI (No Child Left Inside) plans to implement a new study into enhanced child well-being from Place-Based Education (PBE).
3. Enhances traditional subject matter in current curriculums.
Although Environmental-Based Education (EBE) will be utilized in a variety of forms, Place-Based Education (PBE) is more compatible as it encourages educators to move beyond the classroom and into the natural environment by integrating multiple education plans into a current curriculum. In addition to teaching the sciences, curriculum enrichment can and should include outdoor learning in areas of language arts, mathematics, creative writing, physical education and the arts. As David Sobel, author of Place-Based Education: Connecting Classrooms and Communities (2004) states, "Place-Based Education (PBE) takes us back to basics, but in a broader and more inclusive fashion."
Find out how Project Learning Tree (PLT) can help you to help your students learn how to think, not what to think by including outdoor learning.
Research has documented the benefits of a regular dose of Nature in increases in self-esteem, decreased symptoms of attention deficit disorder and elicits positive emotional and physical growth. It is here, that the gitm Foundation sees the incredible potential we all have to positively impact others through one of God's greatest gifts to us, Nature. gitm has formed a local chapter of the national No Child Left Inside (NCLI) Initiative and paired it with the gitm Mentoring program in an effort to promote and sustain Schoolyard Habitats. In addition, gitm NCLI will conduct research on the connection of on-site schoolyard habitats and the effects on childhood well-being (in cooperation with the University of Illinois School of Social Work).