Inside Harvard Elementary’s new outdoor classroom

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It’s hard to imagine the simple garden at Harvard Elementary in Houston ISD was at one point a small bed of dirt with a few plants, but through the dedicated efforts of parents and the school over the past three years, the space has transformed into an innovative outdoor classroom. “It’s been about a three-year journey, it started with a conversation,” Principal Laura Alaniz said. “The school, the teachers, parents and students wanted to improve our gardens, so we wrote a grant.” Now the space features a vegetable garden, monarch garden, a water tank and a brand new pavilion. While grants planted the seed that helped the vision for the garden begin to take form, Alaniz said it was the effort of two amazing parents that turned the space into what students and faculty have come to love. “It was a shared vision for wanting to improve our outdoor space for teaching and learning,” Principal Laura Alaniz said.

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