CONGRATS to Smart Love Preschool for Their Beautiful Nature Garden!
Congratulations to the Natalie G. Heineman Smart Love Preschool for being awarded the Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Award from the Education Division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR)! This award and accompanying grant was made through the IDNR’s annual Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Award competitive application process – and the Smart Love was the only preschool in Chicago to receive the honor. The Nature Garden is composed of several plots within Smart Love’s Logan Square campus (2222 N. Kedzie) and features 28 species of native Illinois wildflowers, grasses, and other plants. The Garden is cared for by members of the Smart Love staff with the active assistance of the 3-5 year-olds Preschool students. With its native plant/pollinator/prairie garden theme, the Nature Garden is an integral element of the Preschool’s gardens and nature curriculum, which engages preschoolers in learning about their natural world around them, understanding the importance of caring for the environment, and growing and tending their own plantings. The preschoolers are involved in every step of the seed-to-table cycle of the edibles garden, produce from which even features in their snacks and take-home gifts for their families. The children also raise butterflies from eggs laid in the garden, and watch and learn about birds and other wildlife that use the garden for food and shelter all year long.