Alcoa Foundation Outdoor Classroom

About Native Indiana Plants • The Rain Garden • Featured Species
Native Plant Resources • Special Thanks • Works Referenced and Resources

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The Outdoor Classroom is made possible thanks to a generous grant from the Alcoa Foundation.  Designed as both a teaching space and as an entrance to the Evansville Museum’s Eykamp Pavilion, the Alcoa Foundation Outdoor Classroom features only plants native to Indiana.

Highlighting the variety and beauty of native plants, the Alcoa Foundation Outdoor Classroom boasts ten different species.  We hope you will visit the Alcoa Foundation Outdoor Classroom season after season to experience the changing beauty of these plants throughout the year.

While you enjoy the Alcoa Foundation Outdoor Classroom, be sure to take advantage of the Evansville Museum’s unique location right on the Ohio River.  The Museum is just a short walk to the city’s Greenway Bike/Walking Path on the Riverfront Corridor.

 


JDP_6017_AAbout Native Indiana Plants

Each of the ten varieties of the plants in the Outdoor Classroom are native to the state of Indiana.  According to the Indiana Wildlife Federation, “…native Indiana plants are best suited for the soil and weather conditions in our area.  As a result, native plants are necessary for healthy wildlife populations and help prevent the spread of invasive, exotic species.”

Built in early 2014, the Alcoa Foundation Outdoor Classroom is a living exhibit of these concepts in action.  As the plants become more established, the Alcoa Foundation Outdoor Classroom will highlight the strength of native plants in the environment as well as their beauty.


The Rain Garden

 

Rain garden illustration_0

The Rain Garden is located just outside the glass window of the Eykamp Pavilion.  According to the University of Connecticut’s Center for Land Use Education and Research NEMO program, rain gardens are shallow depressions in the ground that feature native plants.  These plants filter runoff water, preventing pollutants from entering the waterways.  When visiting the Alcoa Foundation Outdoor Classroom, look at this densely populated space and the characteristics of these plants.

 


Featured Species in the Alcoa Foundation Outdoor Classroom

[ezcol_1third]Bald Cypress TreePlant Name: Bald Cypress Tree
Genus and Species: Taxodium distichum[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_1third]Blackgum TreePlant Name: Blackgum Tree
Genus and Species: Nyssa sylvatica[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_1third_end]Blue Flag IrisPlant Name: Blue Flag Iris
Genus and Species: Iris versicolor[/ezcol_1third_end] [ezcol_1third] Cardinal FlowerPlant Name: Cardinal Flower
Genus and Species: Lobelia cardinalis[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_1third]Common Oak SedgePlant Name: Common Oak Sedge
Genus and Species: Carex pensylvanica[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_1third_end]Horsetail Reed

Plant Name: Horsetail Reed
Genus and Species: Equisetum hyemale

[/ezcol_1third_end] [ezcol_1third]Little Bluestem

Plant Name: Little Bluestem
Genus and Species: Schizachyrium scoparium

[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_1third]Little Henry SweetspirePlant Name: Little Henry Sweetspire
Genus and Species: Itea virginica[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_1third_end]Prairie Dropseed

Plant Name: Prairie Dropseed
Genus and Species: Sporobolus heterolepis

[/ezcol_1third_end] [ezcol_1third]River Birch Tree

Plant Name: River Birch Tree
Genus and Species: Betula nigra

[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_1third][/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_1third_end][/ezcol_1third_end] Plant photographs are by Justin Pyles.

 


Native Plant Resources

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General Resources
  • Indiana Native Plant & Wildflower Society – Click here.
  • The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center – Click here.
Rain Garden Resources
  • The City of Indianapolis and Marion County – Click here.
  • Bald Cypress tree – Visit the University of Kentucky’s webpage by clicking here.
  • Blackgum Tree – Click here to view the USDA NRCS plant fact sheet webpage.
  • Blue Flag Iris – Visit the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center’s webpage by clicking here.
  • Cardinal Flower – Click here to visit the USDA NRCS plant fact sheet webpage.
  • Common Oak Sedge – Click here to visit the USDA NRCS webpage.
  • Horsetail Reed – Click here to visit the USDA NRCS webpage.
  • Little Bluestem – Visit the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center’s webpage by clicking here.
  • Prairie Dropseed – Click here to visit the USDA NRCS plant fact sheet webpage.
  • River Birch, click here to visit the USDA NRCS plant fact sheet webpage.

 


Special Thanks

Special thanks to Davie Sue Wallace, Donna Brucken, Nan Benedict, and Cindy Warren for their time and assistance in preparing this website.

 


Works Referenced & Additional Resources

City of Gallatin, TN. 2014. “Stormwater.”

City of Gallatin, TN. 2014. “Rain Garden Diagram.”

Harstad, Carolyn. 2013. Got Sun? 200 Best Native Plants for Your Garden. Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.

Indiana Wildlife Federation. 2014. “Native Plants of Indiana.”

Missouri Botanical Garden. “Plant Finder.”

University of Connecticut Center for Land Use Education and Research’s (CLEAR) NEMO Program. “Rain Gardens.”

USDA. 2014. “Fact Sheets and Plant Guide.”

Weeks, Sally. 2010.  Native Trees of the Midwest.  West Lafayette, Indiana: Purdue University Press.