Making Connections Monday: New garden coming to Krause Elementary School! #KESwired

Pam Plagens, Instructional Coach at Krause Elementary School, isn’t afraid to dream big and neither is Natalie James, Brenham ISD Outdoor Education Specialist. When Pam approached Natalie with an idea for an outdoor learning space, she stated, “What Krause teachers really want is an outdoor garden, and what better way to challenge our kids than to let them design and create it themselves.” Since then, plans have begun to construct a campus-wide garden on the Krause Elementary School grounds.

The project will be launched to KES enrichment students in kindergarten through fourth grade on February 8. Students will be connected to Natalie, who will be reporting from the Brenham Elementary School Outdoor Classroom. They will use videoconferencing technology provided by Google Hangouts. Natalie will show the students the district outdoor learning space, so they have examples of what they can work towards. “We want to integrate garden and nature-based learning into day to day activities,” Natalie shared.

Creating this garden will go hand-in-hand with the native grass habitat being piloted in two fourth grade classrooms. Kristi Hinze and Rhonda Wellmann’s classes are working through this program to construct a native grass habitat at Krause Elementary School. The campus-wide garden will feature a student-designed native grass installation in the center with surrounding sections designed by each grade level. Activities provided by the Junior Master Gardener Program will help students learn how to build the garden of their choice. Pam and Natalie have worked together to secure a solid plan for teachers and students. “We have designed lessons to get the kids knowledgeable about gardening, so that they can work together to create their space. The goal is to have all Krause students get their hands dirty when it comes time to construct the garden,” said Pam.

For more information about the Krause Elementary School garden or to find out how you can become involved, contact Pam Plagens at or Natalie James at