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The Backyard Outdoor Classroom

Kinkaid's Backyard is a 3.9 acre plot bordering Buffalo Bayou at the southern boundary of the campus behind the athletic scoreboards. This riparian corridor has been designated and dedicated by The Kinkaid School as a nature study area, effectively making it an outdoor classroom in which natural systems are preserved and used as an educational resource.

The creative energy precipitating the events leading to the dedication came from Upper School students. They realized that the space provided an ideal model for understanding natural ecosystems. Moreover, the students were touched by the dynamic beauty of the space, which serves as habitat to a surprising number of species. Their scientific investigations became integrated with historical research and the reading of the law. They developed a sound rationale which eventually inspired and persuaded the wider Kinkaid community that this land should be set aside as an outdoor classroom.

As news of the Upper School efforts became known, teachers in the Middle and Lower Schools also developed integrated activities relevant to their students. Three Environment Clubs were organized. Kinkaid's Backyard was functioning as 'naturally' as it always had, but it also began to provide relevant and meaningful educational experiences for students across the School. During the annual Field Day festivities in April of 1993, Kinkaid's Backyard was dedicated. The event was witnessed by the entire student body, families and friends.



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