The Nature Explore Classroom at

Broadview Middle School

Broadview is a Title 1 6-8th middle school located in Burlington, North Carolina serving 848 students. We feel a deep commitment to developing not just our students’ academic abilities, but their social-emotional development as well.

Having a Nature Explore Classroom at our school grants them invaluable exposure to nature education as well as essential experiences in the outdoors. Through the use of this space, students interact meaningfully with their environment and can engage in thoughtful introspection. They develop imagination, creativity, and observation skills while also integrating standards-based learning. Our classroom has a diverse mix of engaging activities for students to interact with that appeal to different learning styles, ages, and needs.

We incorporated personalized touches from across our student body into our classroom wherever we could. Our 6th-grade art class created the signs for the various areas of the classroom, the 7th grade painted the stage for the music area, and the 8th grade turned a shipping pallet into a garden bed. Our 6th grade leadership group took on the role of planting the plants in the garden area and setting up the equipment. Involving the students in the creation of the classroom increased their investment in the space and granted them the opportunity to give feedback about what they would like to see represented in the space.

The preteen and teenage middle school years can be a challenging and emotional time, so another added benefit of our Nature Explore Classroom is the safe place it provides for processing complex emotions encountered at home and during school hours. This allows for proactive emotional development to take place in both a nurturing and controlled environment. We hope our classroom inspires other middle schools across the country to pursue building these important outdoor spaces, as their effectiveness and benefits apply to children of all ages.

The success of this classroom is attributed to many invaluable partnerships across our community. Donations of time, resources, and talent from a wide variety of sources allowed us to bring this vision and important resource to our students. Broadview would especially like to thank the North Carolina School Counselor Association for believing in our vision and awarding our school with grant funding to purchase supplies for our classroom. We look forward to continually expanding and innovating our outdoor classroom to best meet the needs of our student body and community as a whole.


2229 Broadview Drive
Burlington NC, 27217