Back to Roots for the Schoolyard Habitat Program

The Highlands Center Schoolyard Habitat Program returns to Coyote Springs for 2021!

We are very excited to have our partnership with the Highlands Center come full circle! One of our pillars of learning takes place in our outdoor learning area, the Habitat. Outdoor learning spaces are so important to schools, especially in today’s world. Principal Candice Blakely, Coyote Springs Elementary School

Fifteen years ago, the Highlands Center’s Schoolyard Habitat Program started at Coyote Springs Elementary School. The Habitat program brings natural science exploration to Prescott and Prescott Valley area schools. It restores unused parts of school campuses into rich, native habitats and outdoor classrooms, encouraging students to learn about scientific concepts through hands-on exploration. Spending time outdoors has endless benefits, all of which have a positive effect on a person’s overall well-being. Now more than ever, outdoor education can foster these benefits–creating a lasting impact on the individual.

The Highlands Center’s Schoolyard Habitat Program supplies each partner school with standards-based curriculum for grades K-8 and two years of one-on-one instructional support from Highlands Center of Natural History staff. Since the beginning fifteen years ago, the Habitat program has grown and expanded throughout Prescott and Prescott Valley. A year ago, Coyote Springs was selected as the next Schoolyard Habitat Partnership. For the past fifteen years the Habitat has been loved by both teachers and students, and is currently in need of revitalization, which is where the Highlands Center is excited to come in and lend a hand.  The Habitat at Coyote Springs is one of the biggest habitats, and over the years, parts of the irrigation have deteriorated, many of their benches have fallen apart, and additional landscape materials could help bring the space back to life.

“Children cannot truly know the look and feel of plants and soil through textbooks and videos. They must experience it through a living laboratory such as our Schoolyard Habitat.” Second Grade Teacher, Abia Judd Elementary School, Past habitat school site

This year with the donations collected through the 2020 Tax Credit Campaign, new materials will be purchased to help restore the Habitat. Donations will fund new irrigation materials, new benches for the seating area, and rocks and decomposed granite to restore the pathways. Both the Highlands Center and Coyote Springs are excited to see the program come full circle and to revitalize the space for students to continue to enjoy. For more information about the Schoolyard habitat program, go to highlandscenter.org/schoolyard-habitat-program/#supporthabitat

 

About the Highlands Center for Natural History,

The Highlands Center for Natural History is a non-profit organization developed to foster an appreciation for the Central Highlands of Arizona. Formed in 1996, the Center is a regional hub for lifelong learning, designed to invite discovery of the wonders of nature. The Highlands Center offers a wide array of programs and includes an inviting venue for community events. Supported by contributions from individuals, corporations, foundations and community partners.  Visit www.highlandscenter.org for more information.

 To register for any Highlands Center program, please call 776-9550 or go to The Highlands Center for Natural History |.

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