Ida Nason Aronica Forest
Unleashing children’s well-being through Nature.
The project has presented a unique opportunity to engage our community with the benefits of having a space for social emotional wellbeing, hands-on outdoor learning and scientific learning about the benefits of trees.
Nature is a wonderful teacher, and this forest will continue to have many learning opportunities at Ida Nason Aronica Elementary. By exploring this outdoor classroom, students are able to learn about a diverse ecosystem from micro and macro world view.
“This forest will help our community in many ways. Many of our students have social emotional needs that are not effectively met in a traditional classroom. Having an outdoor focus, task and place to connect with a growing forest will provide a space for students to build their social emotional skills. Having the opportunity for outdoor shared learning will allow students to make cross curricular connections with science, the environment, literacy and math.”
Joanne Duncan, Principal at Ida Nason Aronica
Who is Ida Nason Aronica?
Ida was a local indigenous woman, who was a steward of her culture, language, land and community. She is honored throughout our school with murals, displays of her baskets, tools, beadwork and pictures. Stories are shared about her courage, kindness, persistence and wisdom.
We strive to carry on her legacy of stewardship, connection to Nature and understanding of those who came before us and leaving things better for those who will come after us.
Ida Nason Aronica Elementary School was designed from the wants and desires of the Ellensburg Community to have a unique school that would connect students to the outdoors and environmental education.
The design team brought the vision to life and created a school filled with natural lighting, wayfinding that goes in a circular path and is identified by the seasons. An inner courtyard serves as an outdoor classroom that all students have access to use every day. As cycles happen with the four seasons and four directions, this forest will be in the shape of a medicine wheel with four quadrants and a small central reflection space.