HTFC developed a unique learning ground in Steinbach, Manitoba using responsive architecture and contextually grounded site design to ensure optimum circulation, human comfort, and learning opportunities. Integrated site features at this LEED Gold commission include bike parking for over 100 cyclists, landform-based water management, a dedicated daycare garden, and diversified shelterbelt buffers.
Clearspring Middle School hosts Manitoba’s first provincially-funded Outdoor Learning Environment (OLE). Composed of a series of outdoor labs, the OLE focuses on environmental, social, and cultural education in the landscape. A butterfly garden touches upon native and adaptive grassland plants, and their relationship to prairie critters, medicine and scent, while a rain garden investigates the exciting seasonal action in a prairie pothole. A sinuous drainage channel and geometric furnishings explore hydrology, geometry, and solar cycles while an adjacent ampitheatre looks into glaciation, geology, and aerodynamics. Opened in 2014, the school is a thriving and evolving community hub. Staff are currently developing numerous video lessons using the school site while the community builds a library reading terrace and vegetable gardens from HTFC’s original master plan.