Montgomery County Outdoor Classroom and Learning Landscape Conceptual Master Plan

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Virginia Tech. Community Design Assistance Center

The Izaak Walton League (IWL) is a national organization "formed in 1922 to save outdoor America for future generations. The League's founders, who were avid anglers, chose to name the organization after Izaak Walton, the 17th century author of The Complete Angler, one of the most famous books on fishing. The IWL is one of the earliest conservation organizations to set an aggressive course to defend wild America by changing public policy. Almost every major, successful conservation program that America has in place today can be traced directly to a League activity or initiative.

Throughout more than 270 communities, IWL chapters advance the mission of the organization - restoring watersheds, reducing air pollution, fighting litter, protecting wildlife habitat and open spaces, and instilling conservation ethics in outdoor recreationists." (

In line with this mission, the Christiansburg-Montgomery Chapter of the IWL has initiated a partnership with the Montgomery County Public School System (MCPS) to utilize portions of their site as a county-wide outdoor classroom. The site's central location in the county as well as its existing resources and opportunities make it an excellent site for watershed education. Here county teachers can engage their students in hands-on learning opportunities and instill a love of and appreciation for the natural environment, particularly watersheds and fishing. Some key site attributes include a spring, a fish run, two ponds, a stream, a wetland area, and a small trail system. Site habitat areas include wetland, meadow, stream, spring, pond, and wooded hillslope.

The Community Design Assistance Center, an outreach Center in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, was asked to assist Montgomery County Public Schools in preparing a conceptual site master plan for the site. The conceptual master plan looks to enhance safe and ADA accessible access to site resources and develop additional learning opportunities on site as well. Support facilities and structures such as ADA restrooms, adequate bus turn-arounds, parking, and storage are also addressed.

Outdoor learning laboratories -- Virginia -- Montgomery County -- Designs and plans., Landscape architecture -- Virginia -- Montgomery County -- Designs and plans., Montgomery County (Va.) -- Designs and plans.