Date of Award


Degree Type

Creative Project

Degree Name

Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)


Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning

Committee Chair(s)

Jake Powell


Jake Powell


David Anderson


Rose Judd-Murray


Studies nationwide suggest that the use of outdoor classrooms in education benefits both students and teachers. In response, the Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation (OOR) established a grant to help fund the implementation of outdoor classrooms across the state of Utah. Interested schools and non-profit organizations may apply for this grant to fund outdoor classroom projects that will help transform their properties into outdoor learning environments.

One requirement for the application is to submit a site plan for the proposed outdoor classroom space. However, many interested applicants have little to no experience with landscape design and may struggle knowing how to create a successful outdoor classroom site plan for their grant application. Additionally, other design guides for outdoor classrooms are not specific to Utah and may contain irrelevant information that is burdensome or confusing to applicants.

The aim of this project was to create a Utah-specific outdoor classroom design guide that was simple enough for beginner-level designers to follow and thorough enough to help produce a quality design. The design guide is targeted towards grant applicants applying for the Utah Outdoor Classroom Grant but can be used by anyone interested in designing an outdoor classroom. The guide contains a step-by-step design process focused on public participation. It also features a variety of tools to help streamline the design process, including a sample survey, worksheets, case studies, and an additional resources section. Grant applicants will be able to use the design guide for their grant applications for years to come.


The outdoor classroom design guide document is nested into this thesis document in the appendix and has its own table of contents. Because of that, only the first page of the design guide is included in the first table of contents.