The Patios and Pathways of the Irie Smial Preserve

To solve drainage problems, improve wheelchair accessibility, and expand our outdoor spaces for learning and socializing, we collaborated with “Lori Daul Design: Lush Landscapes for Tough Climates” and Newmatic to create a river and riverwalk that are beautiful and functional. During heavy rains, this faux river becomes a working river directing water away from the house and walkways. The riverwalk connects four flagstone patios, three ponds, and a pool.

Two Stimpunks directly helped build all of this, cutting and setting the stone, with the rest of us learning and helping here and there.

William Alcott – and we’re talking early 1830s and he was, more or less, creating schools from almost nothing – talked about how the garden was essential, how a collection of distracting wonders was essential, how a covered porch – allowing learning to stay outdoors in any weather – was essential.

Timeless Learning: How Imagination, Observation, and Zero-Based Thinking Change Schools

school should go further than providing space, light, and air: “It should be a place where the child can feel that he belongs, where he can move in freedom, and where he can enjoy immediate contact with the outdoors.”

The Design of Childhood: How the Material World Shapes Independent Kids

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