Nature as a Path to Learning and Place: Blakely Elementary School


A4LE Washington Chapter Conference

Wenatchee, WA


Richard Franko, Christian Runge

Date & Time:

06.07.2022 | 11:45 am–12:45 pm

Blakely Elementary School, the international 2021 A4LE MacConnell Award winner, is a 400 student K-4 replacement school for the Bainbridge Island School district that grew out of a community vision for a school unique to their site and community. The school features a seamlessly integrated landscape of shared collaborative learning experiences that amplify strong student achievement and empower the district’s ever-innovating teaching culture through the transformation of the school’s relationship with the surrounding mixed coniferous forest. The educational benefits of daylight and improved educational environments has been well documented. But as we raise the bar, what are the next levels of higher performing schools where children can connect to nature and bring biophilic geometries and indoor-outdoor design elements into learning environments?

Join Mithun partner Rich Franko and associate principal Christian Runge for “Nature as a Path to Learning and Place: Blakely Elementary School” to learn about the co-creating process with teachers, educational space place planning, sustainability strategies, landscape and technical integration that contributed to the innovative learning environments and biophilic experience at Blakely.

Rich and Christian will co-present with Tamela Van Winkle, former director of facilities and capital projects (retired) at Bainbridge Island School District.

Date Posted: 06.06.2022