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The Relation of Landscape Architecture to the Public Schools

The Relation of Landscape Architecture to the Public Schools

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Excerpt from The Relation of Landscape Architecture to the Public Schools: An Address Before the National Convention of School Officials at Detroit, Michigan, June, 1921

"One impulse from a vernal wood,
May teach you more of man,
Of moral evil and of good
Than all the sages can."

So wrote Wordsworth long ago; so believes everybody today. "Back to Nature," is now the educational slogan.

We know now that real education consists in knowing the things that touch our lives, the things of every day - the common things of our work and play.

The best university education is merely an extension of the kindergarten idea. Men are but children of larger growth.

In harmony with this idea, educational institutions everywhere are establishing School Gardens where the boys and girls become acquainted with the nature of flowers, trees, shrubs, and vegetables. This is a grand and splendid step forward. Some of the most progressive schools have gone a step further and established botanical gardens for the benefit of the study of natural science; so that within a small compass there is brought together a collection of trees, shrubs, and plants, on the School Grounds, that may be studied text book in hand, under the teacher's direction.

Benefits Derived by Students

This method gives a far more intimate acquaintance with trees and plants and their habits than the old way of merely memorizing their names. A few schools have gone a step beyond this, and with the aid of text books and instructions received from Landscape Architects, have laid out their own school grounds, securing at once the double purpose of beautification, and nature's study.

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