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Difference between revisions of "Six Rivers Charter School garden teaching area"

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  |File:Wood 2x4.jpg |cedar wood |1 | Acquire approximately 308 feet of wood.
  |File:Wood 2x4.jpg |cedar wood |1 | Acquire approximately 308 feet of wood.
  |ACAD_Bench_Design.jpg | Auto CAD of bench design|2 |Have design ready.
  |File:ACAD_Bench_Design.jpg | Auto CAD of bench design|2 |Have design ready.
  |Bench in Use.jpg |Finished bench |3 | Build benches according to plan.
  |File:Bench in Use.jpg |Finished bench |3 | Build benches according to plan.

Revision as of 22:10, 12 December 2019

ENGR215 Project Page in Progress
This page is a project page in progress by students in Engr215. Please refrain from making edits unless you are a member of the project team, but feel free to make comments using the discussion tab. Check back for the finished version on 12/19/19.


The objective of this project is to transform an underutilized outdoor space at Six Rivers Charter High School into a teaching area to enhance student learning and engagement. The improvements made to this area provide additional seating and safer ground to walk upon. Team Banana Pirates are students in the Humboldt State University's Environmental Resources Engineering program class ENGR 215, Introduction to design, taught by Lonny Graftman. While developing and constructing this teaching area, team Banana Pirates worked closely with the staff at Six Rivers Charter High School to create an ideal space.

Outdoor teaching area before renovations
Outdoor teaching area before renovations


Six Rivers Charter High School (SRCHS) is a charter school located in Arcata, California. Their students have shown high demand for a program that teaches garden-based learning available to grades 9-12. The school has an overgrown outdoor space available and wants to utilize that space as an area to teach garden curriculum to their students. Team Banana Pirates is a group of students in the Environmental Resources Engineering Program at Humboldt State University. For their ENGR 215: Introduction to Design class, they have been assigned to come up with a creative solution to this problem at SRCHS.

Problem statement and criteria

Six Rivers Charter High School had an underutilized area that only the landscape class would use as part of their curriculum. Transforming this space would allow other types of classes to use the space to enhance student learning.


Important specifications were made when speaking with staff at Six Rivers Charter High School. A list of criteria was created and weighted to ensure that all specifications can be met going forward with the outdoor teaching area.

Criteria Weight Constraint
Safety 10 Free of tripping hazards and sharp edges
Capacity 10 Accommodate up to 35 students
Cost 9 Total project cost cannot exceed $400
Mud Potential 8 Limit mud
Durability 8 Must last at least 6 years without significant damage
Maintenance 8 Maximum 4 hours of maintenance each month
Versatility 7 Can be used for different classes

Description of final project

The final design of the outdoor teaching area includes four 9 foot long benches that can fit up to five students each. These benches were made from cedar wood and painted to protect them from different weather conditions. Two benches are placed in the upper area and two benches are placed in the lower area. A path to the upper area of seating was cleared and wood chips were placed across the entire area to prevent mud from being tracked back into the school.

Photos. Use gallery ( (Links to an external site.)).

Include a how to use and maintain section. See the how to template below.


Team Banana Pirates produced multiple drawings on Auto CAD to better understand the space they were creating.

ACAD Bench Design.jpg

The Auto CAD drawing above shows the four benches that will be built and the proper dimensions.

ACAD Cross Section.jpg

Team Banana Pirates added benches to the area above the original benches in the area as well as at the lower end of the area. The area is at a slight angle so that rain will not cause pools of water to form on the area.

ACAD Aerial View.jpg

The Auto CAD drawing shows an aerial view of what the completed area will look like once complete.


The total cost of completing the outdoor teaching area was $409.07. Over 150 hours of time was spent by the team Banana Pirate to complete the project. To help with the cost, The Mill Yard was willing to donate $190.19 worth of Cedar Wood.

Quantity Material Source Cost ($) Total ($)
308 Feet of Cedar Wood 2x4 The Mill Yard 1.10 340.19
3 Boxes of 8x2.5 screws ACE Hardware 13.65 40.95
1 Gallon of Outdoor Paint Ace Hardware 27.93 27.93
Many Wood Chips Side of Road 0.00 0.00
Total Cost $409.07

How to build

How to Build Bench
cedar wood Step 1 : Acquire approximately 308 feet of wood.
Auto CAD of bench design Step 2 : Have design ready.
Finished bench Step 3 : Build benches according to plan.


The landscaping class at Six Rivers Charter High School will be responsible for some maintenance as part of their curriculum. To make sure that this area remains safe and usable, maintenance will need to be provided on a monthly basis.


This provides information on when to maintain different aspects of the area.

  • Weeding
  • Raking Wood chips to keep ground level
  • Estimated time is 2 hours per month

  • Fill wood chips as needed

Every 5 years
  • Repaint benches to prevent weather damage


This is how to maintain. The step by step how to template {{How to}} is most likely best for this part.

How to Maintain Outdoor Teaching Area
Wood chips at SRCHS Step 1 : Add wood chips as needed.
Step 2 : Pull weeds when they surface.
Step 2 : Add new layer of paint.


This is how to troubleshoot basic operation of the wood chips and the benches in the outdoor teaching area.

Problem Suggestion
Wood chips wash away Add additional wood chips to the area
Paint on benches chip Take bench out, paint area, and place back into ground once paint dries
Bench comes out of ground Dig hole for bench legs, place the bench inside, weigh down with gravel and/or heavy rocks before adding dirt

Discussion and next steps

In the design process, team Banana Pirates had thought through different bench styles as well as adding additional planter beds to the area. A next step for this area would be to add additional planter beds attached to the lower seating for educational purpose.

Suggestions for future changes

In the future, Six Rivers Charter High School may want to add a retention wall by the lower bench with pressure treated wood. This would help keep the wood chips and dirt from leaving the area during a heavy rainfall. As well as adding a retention wass, the benches could be secured permanently into the ground with cement so that they can create a more permanent teaching area.


See Help:Footnotes for more.