Washington Yu Ying Public Charter School moved into its permanent home at 220 Taylor Street, NE in the fall of 2011. While we worked very hard on the amazing building (an old monastery built in 1902) to get it renovated to house our students, we also wanted to focus on giving our students an amazing outdoor classroom, in which they could experience science and nature firsthand. A number of edible gardens and a playground have been built on the 2 acre part of the lot that our building occupies, and now, as funding, time and volunteers allow, we have turned our attention to the other forested acre behind our school, as we begin to create the "hardest working forest" in DC!
In short, we want our Grove to do everything! When completed, the acre will house a number of outdoor classrooms and learning centers (think: counting the rings in a tree, insect collection, etc), trails and physical fitness stations, a completely rehabilitated native understory, wildlife and migratory bird habitat and water runoff collection/dispersal for not only our entire site, but also the surrounding paved area outside our school grounds. Our complete plans have been laid out by our amazing sustainability partners, FutureProof and we have collected a number of volunteer groups to help us as we move forward, so we are ready to get started!
It is our hope that we will be able to learn a lot about protecting our urban forest as we share our story with The Grove. Please check back often as we update our progress and show how our students are connecting with this amazing outdoor space.