Environmental Learning AreaMcNair Elementary's Environmental Learning Area was established Jan. 23, 2009. The ELA is an area between the first and third grade wings of the school (there is a door to the library on one end of the garden area and the gate to the playground on the other end) that allows students to learn about our environment.Our environment is a natural home to many geckos, toads, and Western Fence Lizards as well as a few rabbits and squirrels. Our students have found these animals hopping across our noisy playground, and when our grass isn't mowed for a few days, children will discover the purple and yellow flowers. As teachers, we knew there was more for our children to discover, which is why the ELA was created.McNair teachers have worked on a curriculum for each grade level to encourage students to learn about the development of this outdoor classroom. The students built it, too; after the adults dug the hole and put in the pump and other mechanical parts of the pond, the students placed the rock, planted the lily in the bottom and watched as it was filled for the first time. Parents and other community members have done the heavy work and some of the planning, but the students have done all the jobs that children of their age are capable of completing.