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By John R. Dunmire

An entire advisor winning growing to be and amassing orchids interior, outside, or within the greenhouse.

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18 creating outdoor classrooms Schoolyards These are depictions of Andy Goldsworthy’s natural art. Children are inspired by his work with natural materials and enjoy imitating his creations. erosion of fertile soil, and suburban sprawl. Principles from landscape ecology as presented by Dramstad, Olson, and Forman (1996) include four categories of conditions—patches, edges/boundaries, corridors/connectivity, and mosaics— that could provide helpful ideas for application in the ecological garden. Ecological gardens often are demonstration gardens of local plant communities or life-zone simulations.

Natural outdoor classrooms offer an opportunity to introduce ethics and values into the public school atmosphere. A spiritual awakening and sensitivity toward living creatures, including other people, can be cultivated through learning experiences within the schoolyard and the natural world at large. It is critical that these opportunities be made available to our youth, and especially to those living in cities who are largely removed from daily contact with nature. Today, the inclusion of natural areas within school campuses has become an increasingly popular concept, and a variety of these natural classrooms have emerged throughout the country.

Within the context of subject matter involving nature/biology and human/ cultural systems, the work of many artists evolved from gallery art installation to the creation of public outdoor environments that employ cross-disciplinary approaches. The term ecological art (ecoart) arose in the late 1990s as a classification of art that explores the infinite connections between human and ecological systems. Complex interrelationships between physical, biological, cultural, political, and historical aspects of ecosystems and human communities became the forum for exploration (Rosenthal 2003).

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