An Outdoor Classroom for RSS -- If We Help

By Contributor
May 7th, 2015

Adding More Nature to the Schoolyard

The RSS Parent Advisory Council would love to see more access to nature for RSS students right next to the school.

This spring plans are underway to build an outdoor classroom space and mini-forest on the east side of Jubilee Field. The idea is to create a gathering place for outdoor activities during the school day. 

The outdoor classroom will be built using flat-topped rocks set into the slope. The design also includes planting trees, shrubs and groundcover that are commonly found in the area. 

Rossland’s forests are designated under BC’s ecosystem classification system as the Interior Cedar Hemlock Zone. By planting common local tree species such as cedars and hemlocks and giving them name tags, people will be able to expand their local ecological knowledge. Naming things can be an important first step for learning how ecosystems work.

Besides creating a stimulating place for students to play and learn, this greening project will add shade and cooling during hot summer months, improve water catchment and absorption on site, filter air, create habitat for small wildlife and add seating for spectating events at Jubilee Field. 

The inspiration for this project comes from a growing movement to take learning outside. Connecting with nature has many benefits including improved motor skills and social skills, better focus and attention span, reductions in stress, and importantly, a life-long appreciation for the many ways our living world sustains us.

To build this spring, the RSS PAC must fundraise $10,000. To date, the project has raised $5,500 through local grants, support from the RSS PAC, and monetary and in-kind contributions from the West Kootenay based forestry company ATCO Wood Products. 

Support from the local community is still needed to make up the rest of the budget. The RSS PAC is asking community members to contribute to an online fundraising campaign on the local crowdfunding site: YODEL.ORG 

To support the idea of getting kids outside to learn go to http://schoolgreenzone.yodel.org/ to donate. All dollars raised by the community will go directly to the purchase of trees and shrubs.

The RSS PAC is also asking for donations of extra large rocks and large log rounds as well as some in-kind carpentry work.

The community build day for this project will be SUNDAY, JUNE 14. Everyone is invited to come plant trees and shrubs and complete other handy-work. Bring a shovel, rake or wheelbarrow, refreshments will be provided.

For more information about the project please contact Caley Mulholland – caley.mairin@gmail.com

Categories: Education

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