Sitting on roughly 42 acres in Vancouver, WA, Marshall Elementary School and McLoughlin Middle School provided the opportunity for SD to improve both the site and landscaping for the benefit of students, educators, and the community. We worked to combine engaging play spaces with educational features, to connect the school to the surrounding neighborhood, and create a seamless flow from the building interiors to native outdoor environments.
SD focused on making the project bulletproof for decades of use. Along with the school’s maintenance crew, we developed a 3-year plan for ecosystem establishment and perpetual maintenance (a collaboration that’s ongoing).
“The smallest details have the biggest impact on the final experience.”
“Using biophilic design principles—tree textures, sensory plants, the creation of outdoor rooms—we can improve test scores and attention levels. We created de-escalation paths for people with sensory issues. We built gross motor skill courses. ”
“In our research we found something lacking in many school districts: an opportunity to teach the next generation of environmental stewards.”
“These features can really help with mental health, growth, and development, and build more well-developed, connected, and well rounded humans.”
Master Plan, SD-CA
Site Circulation & Access, Play, Outdoor Learning, Sustainability, Stormwater
Vancouver Public Schools
Washing Sustainable Schools Protocol Standards