Montessori schools are all about hands-on learning. This school in East Dallas has a wonderful creekside property where kids run, build stuff, grow vegetables, raise chickens–there’s even a zip line in the woods. We developed a master plan that presents new challenges at each stage of childhood development, and progressively more complex educational tools. One area we helped develop is the rainwater collection system, which channels roof runoff into four 1,000 gallon tanks. Most of the water is used for irrigating a sports field and classroom planting beds, but the last tank combines water play and education. Children can turn a tap to let water through a flume and series of movable weirs, into a pool where they can play. Then a solar panel pumps it back into the tank. When it doesn’t rain, or if they waste it, then there’s no water to play with! Lesson learned.
More developments will be added gradually (as funds permit), including an outdoor amphitheater, a rock-climbing playground, treehouses and a bioswale to filter parking lot runoff. Stay tuned!