the Neighborhood Design Center



August 13, 2020

School's Out but Treating & Teaching is in session!

Installation is underway for an outdoor learning area & amphitheater at  John H. Bayne Elementary School, designed by the Neighborhood Design Center for the Treating and Teaching Program. 

In the set up phase!

It’s an exercise in sustainability, engaged learning, and long-term use. Natural oak logs are repurposed to create an outdoor amphitheater for students. Native sedges and fragrant sumac are planted on the slope to help with erosion and to increase biodiversity in the landscape. In the near future, a shade structure and white board will be added to round out the outdoor classroom. 

The Treating & Teaching program is a collaborative effort between the Anacostia Watershed Society and Prince George’s County, and several nonprofit partners through the Clean Water Partnership. This program trains teachers and school staff from Prince George’s County Public Schools on how to utilize and care for storm water management installations at their schools. The outdoor classrooms are built so that students can engage with nature, learn about storm water management on their campus, and gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between the built and natural environment!

We look forward to designing more outdoor classrooms for the next cohort of schools. 

Special shout out to Laura Robinson and Marita Roos on our staff for designing this outdoor classroom!

Outdoor classroom designs created by Laura Robinson & Marita Roos

Here’s a reflection from Erica K. Bennett, the Principal at John Bayne Elementary:

We know that when school reopens, John Bayne Elementary School students and educators will be thrilled with this new, flexible outdoor education space, which will be an invaluable asset to their campus. We look forward to designing more outdoor classrooms for the next cohort of schools.

Stay tuned for more updates!