Period 1 Environmental Impact Project - AHS Courtyard Redesign

Remaining things to do in the courtyard (10/30/2012):
  • Cullinan's Corner:
    • Plant remaining plants, or get them under straw for the winter
    • Quote and/or artwork/mural on the wall
    • Order seeds and plant them during the winter
    • Order a bench and install
    • Stepping stones/pavers
    • Figure out what to put on a plaque
    • Railing needs to be done (maybe choose the type?)
    • Trellises

  • Rest of the courtyard
    • Plant remaining plants, or get them under straw for the winter
      • Get rid of grass around the edges and foundation (~4 feet out)
      • Put up barrier around young plants
    • Finalize a plan with the help of other periods
      • 4 square
      • Tetherball
      • Finalize decision on clock tower and drinking fountain
    • Have specialists look over our plan - and possibly make a 3D drawing of the area
    • Get plan approved by Spence
    • Order materials for the courtyard project
    • Schedule companies to install items we can't
    • Clean up the dirt on the sidewalk
    • Get rid of remaining non-native plants






To Do Before Planting Can Start:
  • Separate plants into maximum height categories (super short < 1', short 1'-2', medium 2.5'-3.5', tall > 4') - put into different container racks
  • put a label into each container that will be planted alongside the plant
    • Plant #
    • SS S M T (super short, short, medium, tall)
    • Sp Su Fa No(Blooms Spring, Summer, Fall, or None)
    • R O Y G B V W P (Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Violet White Pink)

  • Layout flags for where seed needs to go
    • Plant #
    • SS S M T (super short, short, medium, tall)
    • Sp Su Fa No(Blooms Spring, Summer, Fall, or None)
    • R O Y G B V W P (Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Violet White Pink)



Things that we need to address for our project:
  • Figure out when the railing is getting done

  • Figure out which plants are going where
  • Make a blueprint

  • Decide which features we are putting in the courtyard
  • Get more feedback from Spence Evans after we have a plan




To do during 10/9/2012:
  1. Plan for dealing with storm water in the courtyard.
  • Visit the Rainscaping website
  • Click on the "Practices" tab, and read through all of the practices listed on the left-hand side
    • There are links to fact sheets, etc. on the right-hand side of the screen after clicking on each practice.
  • Which practices could be applied to the AHS courtyard in order to manage the stormwater?
  • Write about several practices that could apply to the AHS Courtyard - diagram where they might be located in the courtyard and explain how they work and why you chose them. 
        2.  Choosing native plants suitable for the AHS Courtyard.
  • Visit the "Recommended Plants" section of Inger Lamb's Prairie Landscapes website
  • Find as many native plants that would work for our AHS Courtyard as you can from the documents on Inger's website
  • Work with other students to add your plant choies to the following list of suitable plants (you must be signed in to your Google account that is part of our classes group
Plants suitable for the AHS Courtyard (include height and bloom month in parentheses following each plant).
  • Dwarf Blazing star pinkish (12'', July-October)
  • Golden Alexander (36'' April-June)
  • Slender Mountain Mint White (24'' July-September)
  • Cream Gentian (36'', August-September)



Plants to NOT use:





Native plants in our greenhouse (reviewed by 1st, 3rd, and 6th periods)(**=suitable for our project, ??=problematic for our project):

  • **Riddel's Goldenrod** = 5 plants
  • ??Prairie Cordgrass?? wet area and tall = 35 plants
  • ??Riverbank Rye?? Native? = 14 plants
  • ??Bottlebrush sedge?? Wet area only = 5 plants
  • **Coreopsis** = 49 plants
  • **Porcupine Grass** = 6 plants
  • ??Large Leaf wild indigo?? Bloom month? = 42 plants
  • **Butterfly Milkweed** = 7 plants
  • ??Evening Primrose?? height = 7 plants
  • **Gray Goldenrod** = 7 plants
  • **Sideoats Grama** = 11 plants
  • ??Smooth Oxeye?? Bloom month? = 14 plants
  • **Sky Blue Aster = 196 plants**
  • **Purple Coneflower = 196 plants**
  • **Rough Blazing Star = 87 plants**
  • ??Compass Plants?? Height? = 4 bunches (1 large, 1 medium, 2 small)
  • ??Canada Lettuce?? = 27 plants
  • **Prairie Dropseed = 35 plants**
  • ??New England Aster = 14 plants?? Ugly when dead
  • **False Boneset** = 56 plants


Notes from reviewing surveys (reviewed by 1st, 3rd, and 6th periods):
  • Use mostly for socializing/hanging out and fresh air. 
  • Rainwater feature= Yes 
  • Fabric shade= Yes
  • Clock tower= Maybe
  • Tables and benches= Yes
  • Drinking fountain= Yes
  • Pond/Marsh= No
  • Frisbee Golf Hole= No
  • Student artwork/more color= Yes
  • Trellis up against wall with vines= Maybe 
  • Brick paver walkways= Maybe
  • Changes additions students would like to see 
    • Doors so you don't get locked outside 
    • Vegetable garden-Compost area if there is a vegetable garden 
    • Window with snacks and beverages 
    • Tether ball
    • More grass areas 
    • Bench swing
    • Foursquare 
    • Speakers
    • Mini concerts for students to sing/play instrument-have outdoor plug
    • Trash cans by each door 
    • Pretty flowers more appealing to the eye.
    • Basketball hoop
    • Swings
    • Alternative energy
    • Needs to be more handicap accesable
    • ball pen(place to hold basketballs)



Ideas to Distribute Courtyard Survey:
  • Email it out to everyone
  • Ideas for the announcement about the email
    • Speakers
      • Cecilia, Bre, Katie K.
      • Hi we're ... from Mr. Todd's environmental science class. Do you think the courtyard needs some improvement?  Would you like to enjoy it more?  If so, please login to your school Google account and check your email inbox to complete a survey we have created that will help us determine how we can create a courtyard to fit your needs.  This should be a student-friendly courtyard.  Let your voice be heard Ames High!
    • "Do you want to be awesome?"
    • Do you want to change the courtyard?
    • If you want to go check your school Gmail account to fill out a survey
    • We are from Mr. Todd's environmental science class, 
    • Have a couple people endorse the survey 
      • Seibert
      • Tommy Norris
  • During lunch in cafeteria (9th and 10th), main lobby and courtyard (11th and 12th)
  • In the morning and during passing time
  • Setup stations in the media center/back lobby
  • Put on school website
  • During 2nd period/Science/English...
  • Make a movie to promote the survey after school in room 49 Tuesday
    • Erin Cochran
    • Joel U-H
    • Maddie Schultz

Stakeholders that need to be surveyed to get their input:
  • School administrators
  • Science Department
  • AHS Teachers - especially those facing the courtyard
  • AHS students
  • Maintenance Staff
  • Local environmentalists/experts
  • AHS alumni/parents
  • AHS Garden Club
  • Sponsors of Cullinan's Corner
  • Cullinan's family
Questions to ask the stakeholders in the survey:
  • What additions would you like to see in the courtyard?
  • Ask the garden club, what they would like to see there
  • Give multiple choice questions, so we don't get anything too crazy
  • How can we get the grass to grow better without mud piles
  • Would you rather have a plaque or a bench for Cullinan's memory
  • Are there certain types of flowers that you want to see in Cullinan's garden
  • Would you like to see yellow flowers in a ribbon shape to represent 
  • How do you currently use the courtyard
  • Ranking ideas we have
  • Tables vs. benches
  • Are you allergic to certain plants?
  • How should we address the trash issue?
  • Would you like a clock in the courtyard?


Main Ideas from WildOnes Article, "Native Plants, Natural Landscapes", by Inger Lamb:
  • Native plants lead to better soil and water quality
  • In Urban areas, native plants need to be mowed and trimmed to avoid the negative reactions
  • Need more diversity, so something survives, and therefore more sustainable
  • Important to research the native species you are planning on planting
  • Educate people about what is happening
    • Article in the Web
    • Signs
    • Announcements
    • Flyers

  • Monitor the area for the appearance of harmful plants that you don't want
  • Watch what is going well and what is not, so we can make future plans



What are the major things that need to be addressed by the project?
  • Fix the standing water areas
  • Rainwater
  • What to best plant for the environment - no Purple Loosestrife
  • Fixing gutters and drains
  • Seating - benches, tables, etc.
  • Clock
  • Cullinan's Corner
    • Plaque (maybe attach to stone wall)
    • Hugdahl
    • color coordinating with school colors or cancer colors
    • Ribbon planting

  • Signs about the plantings and rainwater ideas
  • Trash issue

Questions that the class has about the project:
  • What types of plants to plant?
  • What do we do during the winter?
  • How much money do we need for things?


What do we need to learn in order to make informed decisions about the project?
  • How to write grants.
  • How to fix gutter/drains
  • How to plant certain things
  • What plants are in season during different times of the year
  • Growing conditions of different plants (full sun, etc.)


Expertise that we need to bring in to help us learn those things along with questions we would ask them:
  • Landscaper
  • Construction company
  • Environmentalist

People to bring in:
  • Jake Moore, City Storm Water Specialist
  • Inger Lamb, Owner-Prairie Landscapes of Iowa, Organizer-Iowa Prairie Network



Here are the overall Environmental Impact Project Goals:
  • Deepen knowledge about some aspect of environmental science 
  • Give something back to your community in order to learn about the value of civic responsibility
  • Become more connected to your community
  • Develop project management/leadership skills
  • Develop better written and verbal communication skills
  • Explore personal and career interests

Original Main Courtyard Ideas:
  • Work with professionals to design and make 1 sign
    • Native Plantings - benefits, identification, and/or how to implement such plantings
  • Gather feedback from school administration about goals for the courtyard
  • Gather feedback from students about goals for the courtyard
  • Gather feedback from teachers/staff about goals for the courtyard
  • Work with professionals to design sustainable courtyard
  • Gather feedback from stakeholders about designs for the courtyard
  • Communicate the final design to stakeholders
  • Order plants and other materials necessary
  • Reconstruct the courtyard according to plans







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