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Outdoor Learning Commons


St. Anne’s School of Annapolis formally dedicated its rain garden and renovated outdoor learning space on Tuesday, October 4 and officially named it the Outdoor Learning Commons.

This space is integral to the implementation of St. Anne’s School mission – to create an environment that is conducive to the intellectual, spiritual and personal growth of each student. As an extension of the classroom, the Outdoor Learning Commons will be used by all students.

“Experiential, inquiry-based education has been a hallmark of St. Anne’s School for 25 years,” said Lisa Nagel, Head of School, emphasizing the impact of the renovated space on the educational experience of  students. “Our innovative program fosters growth, exploration, exercise, play and wellness while creating that important connection to the environment.”

One unique feature of the Outdoor Learning Commons is the rain garden. The rain garden project was led by the South River Federation and funded through the Anne Arundel Watershed Protection and Restoration Program (WPRP) and the Chesapeake Bay Trust (Trust). The large rain garden will not only help to reduce runoff but will benefit natural wildlife through the native grasses, ferns, shrubs, and trees planted in and around the garden.  Teachers will be able to use this garden as a teaching tool and students will learn to be good stewards to the environment.

This important initiative including the grant for the rain garden and the Outdoor Learning Commons renovation was made possible through the support of individual donors. St. Anne’s School is very grateful for the continued support of our donors and members of the community.

“As Head of School, I am confident that a purpose-built outdoor campus of learning spaces will foster creative leadership, wholistic learning, stewardship of the environment and a sense of the community,” said Nagel.

The Outdoor Learning Commons meets one of the tenets of the School’s 2014-2017 Strategic Plan: Inspire, Inquire, Innovate – optimize exterior space for exploration, recreation, and outdoor classrooms.




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