NEW! Design on a Shoe String Budget

Posted by on Aug 14, 2017 in The Seedling BLOG | 0 comments


Design on a Shoestring Budget

Onsite Consulting

Why choose for your design project? 

It is simple: The best outdoor classrooms are the ones that are organic, evolve over time and grow within a community. The mission of is for every child in every school to have access to an outdoor classroom. We are different because we inspire teachers to become Natural Teachers and offer resources to create Outdoor Classrooms on a shoestring budget.

What makes unique is the focus on planting seeds of inspiration that empower teachers, parents, and leaders to create a one of a kind Outdoor Classroom. If you and your program are looking for a system to creatively transform your outdoor learning space, inspire your teachers and grow together, we are here to facilitate your journey.

Introductory Meeting: Is this the right fit? 

The first step is to set up a meeting with your initial planning team. The introductory meeting is about making sure we are all on the same page. I listen, learn about your program, and understand the needs in your outdoor space. I clarify that I am neither a landscape designer nor a playground architect. Rather, I am an education specialist in outdoor learning with an expertise in outdoor classroom design possibilities. My approach is to plant seeds of inspiration with an abundance of resources for creating a one of a kind Outdoor Classroom. The goal of the introductory meeting is to determine if we are the right fit to move you forward.

Phase One: Gaining Clarity

Our journey begins with the initial planning team. I introduce the foundation of the design plan based on 4 Types of Gardens. We discuss your vision, walk through the outdoor space and take pictures of the space. I learn how the outdoor space is currently being used and ask questions to understand your challenges while brainstorming possibilities. With this information, I create a preliminary sketch and list of ideas and possibilities. The initial planning team will have an opportunity to consider and modify the plan. The goal in this phase is gain clarity before moving forward.

Phase Two: Options & Elements 

Understanding the 4 Types of Gardens brings clarity. In this phase we move forward with choosing your options and garden elements. With an abundance of resources, I introduce a variety of theme gardens, assist you in determining your outdoor elements and help you decide your outdoor learning stations. In this phase we develop a concept plan for your Outdoor Classroom and determine the “what” and “how” of your Outdoor Classroom.

Phase Three: Planting Seeds of Inspiration for Teachers

At, it is all about building community. In this phase, the lead planning team and I introduce the concept of the Outdoor Classroom to the teachers. This can be done at a staff meeting or an on-site workshop. At this stage, there is still room to make adjustments and brainstorm new ideas. I address questions, additional ideas and come to a consensus on a final design plan. The goal of this phase is to teach you how to empower your teachers to become Natural Teachers that will, in turn, bring energy into your outdoor space.

Phase Four: Making it Happen on a Shoestring Budget

This is where we tap our outside community for creativity and commitment to creating a one of a kind Outdoor Classroom. With your design plan, I assist you in deciding what can be a DIY project and what can be a purchased project. I provide a list of materials and prices. With a little ingenuity, your Outdoor Classroom can be amazing! The goal here is to demonstrate how much “bang” you can get for your “buck”.

Phase Five: Sustainability

Your Outdoor Classroom will constantly evolve, as it will be a living outdoor space that requires love and care over time. In this phase, we talk about seasons and how to change up learning outdoor learning stations to enable your children to use this space year round. As we come full circle in our journey, Teachers can join the community of Natural Teachers for continuous access to the latest resources available.



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