Editorial: The mysterious courtyard

When you think of Schreiber, you might think of the chaos of walking through the hallway between periods. You might think of the mad scramble for the doors at the end of sixth period. Would an idyllic patch of nature be the first thing to come to mind? Probably not. Most people walk to class without noticing the lovely courtyard bordering the science wing. The courtyard has been part of Schreiber since the sixties, when the new wing was added to the school.

Treehuggers have put a tremendous amount of effort into restoring the garden, which has been certified by the North Shore Audubon Society as a native plant habitat, making it a safe place for birds and insects to enjoy. The garden’s host of native plant species attracts a wide variety of birds which you wouldn’t expect to find in such a busy area, from warblers to pine siskins. It’s the perfect place to spend a relaxing off period and escape from your academically induced stress. You could sit down and study as well. So why is the courtyard always empty?

Most people completely overlook the courtyard. Accessible through doors on the ground floor, the courtyard is easy to reach. Because it’s so close to the rest of the building, students can still access WiFi if they want to work on their phones or computers.

Because so few people take advantage of the courtyard’s beauty and tranquility, there are no chairs or tables outside, which may make it difficult to sit comfortably, especially on days when the grass is wet. Were the school to provide seating in the courtyard, students would be able to better enjoy this lovely patch of nature. There are a number of grassy areas in the courtyard which are not taken up by native shrubbery or trees, and these spots would be the perfect place to sit. Additionally, people would be able to learn more about the native plants and animals around them, as the North Shore Audubon Society has placed a number of helpful brochures in a waterproof box in the courtyard.

Spending time in nature has been shown to reduce stress and depression among teenagers as well as adults, so increasing awareness about the courtyard will only benefit the student body.