Franklin County Creates Outdoor Learning Site

Franklin County Garden Club recently worked to change a neglected and abandoned space of approximately 3,500 square feet at a local elementary school into a beautiful and functional space for outdoor learning.

The overgrown lawn and old flowerbeds with rotting wood and rusting pipes on the fencing had to go! We were so blessed to be joined by multiple community partners and Boy Scout Troop 185, with two young men who wanted to obtain their Eagle Scout badges.

The scouts and their helpers made and mounted two outdoor chalkboards, assembled a picnic table, and stained all three picnic tables. They also provided muscle in laying pavers and moving dirt from old flowerbeds to new flowerbeds to make pollinator gardens. More than 20 community partners provided time, services, and products to this project; 16 garden club members assisted.


We scheduled a number of workdays for pressure washing, tree trimming, and clearing of the sidewalk to plant lawn seed.

Because there was inadequate seating, a 16-foot aluminum bench was donated from another county school. Our high school construction and welding class made a weather station frame. The station measures temperature, rainfall, wind speed, and also has a sundial (which we found in the overgrown lawn).

The new fence was covered with a flower garden made of Yarn Art. Some club members crocheted flowers, birds, and bees. These were affixed to the welded wire fencing to make for a stunning feature!

The music teacher suggested a pipe organ, and we followed YouTube instructions. A garden club member made the frame, and a local plumbing store donated the pipes.

A celebration was held in late October with 10 classes enjoying all the features in their outdoor classroom area. The Frightened Frog and the Saved Seed books were donated to the library. Networking with Nature, an NGC book, was read to the students, and we also educated them about pollinators.