Outdoor Classroom

Welcome to the Outdoor Classroom


Come on in!

Please scroll down or click on the following links for a virtual tour of our garden at the Lighthouse: zoo beds, edible plants, tea, underground activity, the water system, potted herbs, bees, compostpond ecosystem and butterfly garden.



Zoo Beds

Have your students visit our "petting zoo!" Find the Spider Plants, Lambs Ear, Dragon Wing and many more in this bed dedicated to plants named after animals. Hand out our Zoo Bed worksheet and ask your students to try and match the names with the plants and hypothesize as to why they were given the names to begin with!



Edible Plants

We have eight beds of vegetables growing in the garden. These beds are set up in four sets of two beds which rotate from year to year.

·Vegetables with Edible Roots like turnips, carrots, onions, potatoes, and radishes,
·Vegetables with Edible Fruits like peppers and tomatoes,

·Vegetables with Edible Leafs like lettuce, Swiss chard, kale, and spinach
·And Legumes like beans and peas.

The Outdoor Classroom also has strawberries, raspberries, and mulberries for the kids to enjoy throughout the summer.






Come and try our apple mint, spearmint, or the amazing chocolate mint (smells like a peppermint patty!) It’s fun just to taste the leaves! We can also boil water over the fire pit, add the tea leaves and throw in someStevia for a yummy garden tea!




Underground Activity

Ever wonder what’s going on under the ground? Well, now you can get an up-close look with our “See Into the Soil” stations. Simply remove the panels with an artist’s rendition of what you are about to look at and, voila! You can see through Plexiglas panels into the soil. We have separate displays for worms, root systems, and vegetables.



The Water System

Our water catchment tanks hold more than 600 gallons of water, gathered solely from the run-off from the Lighthouse’s roof (1,600 sq. ft.) Each of the tanks is a self-sustaining habitat complete with fish, aquatic plants like duckweed and water hyacinths, which serve as fish food, and solar powered water fountains for aeration. The tanks also contribute to the life and success of the outdoor classroom by providing water (with nutritious fish excrement added) for all of the vegetables, herbs, and fruit growing here.



Potted Herbs

Spices are aplenty in the outdoor classroom. Students can walk right up and pick the leaves for tasting! As the students taste the herbs they can read the signs informing them of the foods they eat which typically contain these herbs – “That tastes like pizza!” We have rosemary, parsley, oregano, cilantro,  basil, stevia, thyme, chives, dill and sage.




Learn about the buzzing creatures that are so critical to all that grows around us! We have learning opportunities for students of all ages: watch the Magic School Bus episode on bees, look through our teaching hive, or go into the garden and visit our live hive. At the hive, you can look through the observation glass to watch the bees hard at work!

Note: the bee hive is constructed so that the bees enter and exit on the other side of the garden fence.




We have three composting stations for students to learn about thedecomposition cycle: 

1. Two bins for static composting – let it sit and rot! It takes almost a year, but Mother Nature will break down that organic material into soil. All you have to do is let it sit!

2. A tumbling composter. The tumbling action and the contained heat break down the compost much faster than just sitting around. If turned regularly, a tumbling composter can break your compost down into soil in six weeks. 

3. A worm bin. Worms eat their weight in food in 24 hours! Three pounds of worms (or 3,000 of the squiggly things) will turn three pounds of compost into some of the most fertile soil around. That’s right: they poop dirt!

Pond Ecosystem



Butterfly Garden





Serving the youth of Southeast Canton with the love of Christ.