Outdoor Learning Lab

Ampitheater and path

The Outdoor Learning Lab at Chet Harritt

The outdoor learning lab at Chet F. Harritt will provide unique learning opportunities for all students' kindergarten through eighth grade, a population of over six hundred and fifty regular and special education students. The area has been used to varying degrees for the last twenty years, but in recent time's large amounts of rainfall, fallen trees, and the sheer quantity of time to maintain made the area unusable. The current project to renovate and beautify began when a group from the East County Chamber of Commerce (ECCC) toured our school. While visiting the bordering garden area, the ECCC members asked our students what was on the other side of the fence. Students remarked that it used to be an outdoor learning lab, but their teacher no longer let them go out there due to concerns over safety. The level of disappointment the students expressed struck a chord with the Chamber members who were looking for a project. Fast forward nine months, after a spring and summer of donated tree removal, clearing of dead brush, and creation of a stage area, ADA pathways, shade and a re-designed amphitheater, and the area is beginning to show the promise and potential imagined by the ECCC and the school staff. The ECCC enlisted the aid of Cuyamaca College's Horticulture Design seniors, to draw up plans that included a dock for students to access the creek, a sensory garden, riparian and succulent garden along with a Mediterranean and native garden.

Outdoor Lab Web-Site

The Outdoor Lab Taking Shape