The Stonewall Garden – The Power of a Simple Idea
The garden at Stonewall Jackson Elementary, a public school in the heart of East Dallas, began almost 15 years ago with a simple goal – use a garden to teach children about the life cycle of plants. A small plot of beans planted in a corner of the school yard captured student imaginations and cultivated their curiosity. As they learned, the garden grew.
Today, the original plot has evolved into a 20,000 square foot garden, a beautiful oasis in an urban neighborhood. Rows of student vegetable crops line up next to school buildings along a busy city street. Native wildflowers bloom in the Texas sun. A chicken coop houses a handful of hens, and seedlings sprout in the small greenhouse.
But this lovely bit of nature is also much more. The garden is a key educational tool, a hands-on learning lab where every Stonewall student learns by doing in a multi-sensory outdoor classroom that teaches science, connects children to nature, and helps them grow as learners.
All of our more than 540 students regularly attend garden class, where they learn from a rich academic program that involves tending the garden, science experiments, and ongoing observations of the complex workings of a diverse ecosystem. Over the past decade, thousands of students have planted, cultivated and harvested their own crops, growing their understanding of and connection to the natural world.