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Outdoor Learning Environment

In the summer of 2020, Ruffing’s Outdoor Learning Environment (OLE) underwent a major renovation funded exclusively through restricted charitable gifts. 

Ruffing’s OLE consists of a half acre of outdoor learning and play space. Completed just in time for the start of the 2020-2021 school year, fenced outdoor classroom spaces increased existing Lower Elementary, Children’s House, and Toddler Community classroom spaces by 50%. The project included:

- Performance and presentation space with natural log seating

- A mural designed and created by Ruffing students

- Natural playground equipment, a mini basketball court, 4-square and tetherball space

- Tricycle Track for our Toddler Community, which is also enjoyed daily by children of all ages for walking, talking, and expressing creativity with chalk art

- Raised garden beds for each of the classrooms cared for by children collecting water from rain barrels

- Composting stalls for classroom lunch food scraps

- Flower, herb, and vegetable gardens designed and cultivated by students

- Pollinator gardens, bird feeders, bird houses, and insect ‘hotels’ to spark natural curiosity and exploration

- Boulder seating/meeting area

- Weather resistant work tables and benches in dedicated outdoor classroom extensions

- Wood fence lined with newly planted trees