Nature’s Classroom

Durand CUSD #322 and Durand Charm are partnering together to provide student’s an outdoor classroom.

The Idea provides the following:

Learning in a natural setting and an outdoor classroom for the entire district to utilize

The natural space will be furnished with memorial and community sponsored trees

Planting spaces for each grade level Pre-K – 12






Durand School District Campus


The students in grades Pre-K – 12 will benefit by having an outdoor learning environment in which they can learn not only alongside nature, but also about the natural ecosystem in which they live.

Proven Benefits of Outdoor Learning

  1. Better grades:
  2. Better health:
  3. Decreased stress levels:
  4. Increased motivation:
  5. Better attitudes about the environment:
  6. Better overall behavior:
  7. Enhanced communication skills:
  8. Increase in outdoor skills:
  9. Increased self-reliance
  10. Community improvement:
  11. Improved memory:

Strengthening the ties and bonds between the school and community:

  • Many community members have volunteered to help make this design a success before we have even gone public with the idea.
  • Memorial and sponsored trees offer a place for families to remember loved ones  
  • Opportunities to partner with classrooms district-wide


  • Classroom area: Concrete Slab 20’ x 20’ = $750
  • Overall Reduction in the cost to the district due to a decrease in labor and gas being used to mow over an acre of land.
  • Eliminate an existing liability and dangerous area on school grounds.
  • This project will be built upon the donations of community members’ time, labor, and resources.
  • Additionally, we will be reaching out to organizations and community members for more help with the class planters and ideas for watering trees.  

Do you want to be are of this innovative educational program?

For more information contact Mychael Drews @ 815-248-2171. If she is unavailable, please leave a message and she will return your call. You can also contact Bev Waller @ 815-248-2482.

Donations can be directed to:

Durand CUSD #322

200 W South Street

Durand, IL 61024

Please note your donation is for Nature’s Classroom in the memo line of the check.