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Education | Prairies

Oak Park High School Indigenous Outdoor Classroom

Winnipeg, Manitoba

The outdoor classroom at Oak Park High School is provides a space for students to discuss and learn about Indigenous history, culture, and traditional knowledge.

The design features a circular learning space composed of natural flagstone and concrete paver bands, arranged to symbolize the spokes of a traditional oxen cartwheel. Locally harvested Tyndall stone blocks encircle the paved area. Two rows of amphitheatre-style seating are built into a grass berm, providing bi-level seating for larger groups.

Extending from the paving “spokes” are lines of steppingstones that pass through planting beds, allowing students to interact with the plants up close without trampling them or compressing the soil. The planting plan features a variety of native wildflowers, herbs, shrubs, and grasses that have traditional spiritual and medicinal uses by local Indigenous groups. A bison rubbing stone is prominently featured in one of the planting beds, providing a reminder of the past. Trees and hedge shrubs surround the space, serving as a privacy screen from the adjacent parking lot.