• Environmental Learning Area
     Students at the ELA
    McNair 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.


    You can always purchase a brick for the pathways of McNair's Environmental Learning Area, as seen to the right, in honor or memory of someone you love. Additionally, if you would like to give a gift to the ELA, please click this link to donate.
    The McNair ELA Garden Committee writes grants every year in hope of receiving funds to maintain and further develop ELA. We have received several grants from the Denton Public School Foundation, which were used to put crushed granite on the pathways around the garden. Parents and students shoveled the granite into wheelbarrows and laid it themselves. The DPSF's grants funding also allowed the raised beds to continue.

    We also received many grants from Keep Denton Beautiful to provide mulch to protect the plants from insects and drying out. We also purchased more plants and rain barrels, and we are also trying to attract more butterflies to ELA.
    So many parents, families and community support workers have donated time and energy to watering and maintaining the garden through the hot summers. We look forward to seeing what more we can do and learn this school year!
    Brick pathways