Created in 2001, the McKenzie Garden has developed into an amazing resource as a result of the hard work and dedication of McKenzie parents and teachers.
The butterfly garden was built and planted with all the plants donated by McKenzie families. The garden was dedicated to Vivian Huska, a McKenzie parent, and Alex Dewey, a former McKenzie student who died a few years before it was installed.
A Gripp Grant from the D39 Educational Foundation for the prairie garden was obtained by work of the Curriculum Differentiation teacher, Ellie Logan, and Margie Rader, a
Chris Porter, McKenzie art teacher, raised funds for the prairie garden via 4th grade student drawn prairie scene cards — over $1100 was raised!
The prairie garden area was planned by McKenzie parents and prepared for planting by George Garcia, a McKenzie custodian.
May 22, 2004
The Friendship Prairie Garden was installed with over 20 volunteers planting 300-400 native prairie plants.
The garden was planted in honor of Lindsey Mueller, a McKenzie student who had died a few years earlier.
Kirsten Stadheim, a McKenzie parent and chair of the gardens, applied for a grant from D39 Educational Foundation to connect the two garden areas and create a larger outdoor classroom area.
A split rail fence was installed to designate the outdoor classroom space following District 39 construction to move the asphalt paths (widened the garden area) in the summer of 2009.
Kirsten Stadheim and Lara Waechtler, McKenzie parents and co-chairs of the gardens, oversaw the installation of 2 birch trees, a maple tree, a liberty apple tree, numerous prairie plants, three raised beds, a council ring, and blue stone path in the outdoor classroom space.
Two fourth grade classes (McK classes of 2010 and 2011) helped plant native plants, grasses, and bulbs along the fence areas as a farewell gift to the school. Amanda Nugent, a McKenzie parent and volunteer, planted numerous new plants in the butterfly garden area.
Amanda Nugent, McKenzie garden co-chair, planted numerous new prairie grasses and plants to reflect the D39 curriculum for multiple grades.
Two picnic tables were added in the spring of 2012