About The Outdoor Classroom
Only 12 miles south of Pittsburgh, The Outdoor Classroom (formerly the Regional Environmental Education Center) is nestled within the 475-acre Boyce Mayview Park in the Township of Upper St. Clair. The unique diversity of habitats found in the park offers visitors of all ages many ways to experience the connections between people and the environment.
Conceived to encourage hands-on learning about the environment, the Classroom focuses on outdoor experiential learning. Immediately accessible to the main facilities are a sloping meadow, a deciduous forest, and multiple trailheads offering access to more than 10 miles of natural surface *hiking trails and the wondrous variety of both plant and animal life that abounds.
The main learning facility at the Classroom is our outdoor Learning Lab that models sustainable practices. The wooden structure, located in the meadow facing the Sensory Trail and Beech Valley trailheads, is made from reclaimed barn timbers. It has retractable front and side panels, which allow for an open-air meeting space with unobstructed views of the natural surroundings. The Learning Lab is the perfect place to gather and learn about the many habitats, animals and plants you'll find on site, or to just sit and enjoy the sights and sounds around you.
Another facility that demonstrates sustainability is a real conversation piece: an outdoor composting toilet. Located near the Learning Lab, the composting toilet is not only functional, but it also serves as a great introduction to decomposition and water conservation.
The other structures utilized by the Classroom on the property are two temporary modular buildings that serve as administrative offices and additional classroom space. As The Outdoor Classroom continues to expand its programs, these buildings will be replaced by a new facility designed and built to the latest green standards, which will further highlight the connections between humans and nature.