Outdoor Classroom Design

On-site outdoor classroom design services with a specially trained landscape architect-educator team are available to help create Nature Explore Classrooms nationwide.

Nature Explore offers a unique six-step outdoor classroom design process that is efficient, affordable, and brings people together to develop a common vision for their Nature Explore Classroom. For more information contact : info@natureexplore.org

Click each area below to learn what happens during this process.

The Process

  1. Select Planning Group Select Planning Group

    First, an organization selects a planning group, with representatives from their administration and staff. They are also encouraged to include maintenance personnel, families and community volunteers.

    Before the two-day design consultation takes place, this group will study the Learning With Nature Idea Book and think about the unique features they would like in their Nature Explore Classroom

  2. Select Planning Group Two-Day Design Consultation

    The next step comes when a Nature Explore team, made up of a specially trained landscape architect or architect and a Dimensions education specialist visits the organization at their site.

    In the first day of the two-day process, the Nature Explore team meets with the school or organization's planning group to evaluate the site and discuss in detail the particular needs and interests of those who will be using the site. It's important that during this meeting everyone's wishes are heard. The Nature Explore team helps the group come to consensus on any issues where there may be multiple viewpoints.

  3. Blueprint of Nature Explore Classroom Create Concept Plan

    Following the meeting, the landscape architect or architect, in consultation with the Dimensions educational specialist creates a unique concept plan for the site based on the wishes of the planning group.

  4. Concept Planners Group Review Concept Plan

    On the second day of the two-day design consultation process, copies of the concept plan are given to each member of the organization's planning group. The Nature Explore team discusses the concept plan in detail with the planning group to make sure that all of the group's wishes are included in the plan. This is the time to make adjustments, if needed. Once everyone has agreed on the final version of the concept plan, it is time to discuss implementation.

  5. Learning with Nature Book Create Implementation Plan

    The Nature Explore team helps the organization decide if they have the resources to build from the concept plan, or if they need to hire a local landscape architect or architect to create more detailed construction drawings.

    A general timeline for building the Nature Explore Classroom will be developed together. Next, the role of volunteers will be discussed. Dimensions provides an implementation Handbook to the site. Then, a week or so after the design consultation visit, the landscape architect or architect sends a color pdf of the final concept plan and the Dimensions education specialist sends a written narrative of all the discussion from the two-day visit.

  6. Builders Now Build

    When the organization is ready to build, their Nature Explore Classroom will probably include most of the recommended areas and some of the supplemental areas in the Learning With Nature Idea Book. Research and field-testing have shown that children learn best, experience fewer conflicts and express more enjoyment when the outdoor space is divided into distinct areas for different kinds of activities.