In 2015, a dedicated group of educators, parents, and community volunteers working with Walgrove Elementary School dedicated a schoolyard habitat encompassing 25,000 square feet of its campus: land formerly occupied by six bungalows and covered with an asphalted hardscape. Today the Walgrove Wildlands are a certified National Wildlife Federation Monarch Butterfly Way Station.
The Walgrove Wildlands were created with the following guiding principles:
- Create a schoolyard habitat that restores native species and works towards recreating a native ecosystem on campus.
- Create a hands-on, outdoor laboratory in which students learn about science, ecology, and environmental stewardship.
- Pursue a joint-use agreement to make greened area available to the community after school hours.
- Encourage the community to take ownership of the habitat and to participate actively in its maintenance through regularly scheduled (monthly) work days.
We are excited to be part of a larger movement of school and community-based organizations across CA, the US, and world who see schoolyard habitats as powerful educational tools for enriching school landscapes and, in the process, creating exciting hands-on learning opportunities for students.