Tour the Gardens
A tour of Atkinson’s Outdoor Learning Gardens (OLG) begins on Division Street with The Magic Garden. This welcoming plaza design incorporates a place for children to learn in a natural environment with a sit wall long enough for an entire class. Various boulders were added to encourage rock identification.
The Discovery Garden is located on the west side of the school. The garden is designed to give students the opportunity to explore agriculture and the natural world in a creative manner. It is also a place for students to learn about crop rotation, companion planting (including 3 Sisters and Milpa Agriculture and Permaculture Design), garden design and experimentation, and year-round agriculture. This garden also holds a large composting system for students learn about the wonders of composting and for adult volunteers and students to turn and use in the garden.
To visit The Multicultural Garden (MCG), enter the school (volunteers and visitors sign in at office), turn right, then left down the breezeway, and turn right out into the garden. The MCG invites multi-sensory, hands-on learning about the importance of sustainability and the relationships between the environment, culture, and language. Located in the central courtyard, the garden was designed around a recycled steel globe sculpture donated by Cracked Pots. Thirty raised garden beds surround it, one for each teacher.
Exit the MCG where you entered, cross the breezeway and go out to The Wildlife Habitat. A Pacific Northwest native plant garden, The Wildlife Habitat was the first learning garden at Atkinson.
Across from the Wildlife Habitat is The Outdoor Classroom, where classes gather as they explore the gardens. The structure also provides a gathering place for the Atkinson community.
Next, head south toward Clinton Park and see The Pollinator/ Butterfly Gardens. Originally planted as a butterfly garden at the southernmost point, newer habitat elements have been included to attract pollinators.
Finally, head to the playground, where playground trees have been planted to cool the building and absorb water runoff.