New Outdoor Classroom Unveiled at New Haven School

A new outdoor classroom was unveiled at Edgewood Magnet School in New Haven Friday.

It’s one of so-called Schoolyard Habitats which were built at five schools including also at East Rock Community Magnet, Barnard Environmental Studies Magnet, Columbus Family Academy, and Worthington Hooker Elementary Schools.

At Edgewood, the habitat is between the playground and an adjoining road. It includes plants, trees, and a trail connecting it all.

“When we planned the space, we really planned it for all different types of learners,” says Leslie Cohen, a parent of an Edgewood student.

Parents teamed up with Audubon Connecticut, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and others to design these Schoolyard Habitats at five New Haven Schools.

Grant money along with a little outdoors work by students, staff, and volunteers brought them to life.

Now it’s not just the soil that is rich.

The school says this area helps kids develop with special learning plans, science lessons, and just a place to explore.

“They’re excited. They want to show everyone. They want to bring in their relatives to our Schoolyard Habitat to show them what we’re doing and I think it builds upon a natural curiosity that students have anyway,” says Shanta Smith, principal of Edgewood Magnet School.

Edgewood hopes, like the plants and kids, this area keeps growing, offering more opportunities when students ditch the desk and discover the outdoors.

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