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Outdoor Education Opportunities Coming To Heltonville Elementary
Updated February 23, 2015 3:40 PM | Filed under: Education
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(HELTONVILLE) - A grant of $3,800 from the Raymond Foundation will be used to create an outdoor lab at Heltonville Elementary School.

The school system is working with retired educator Carroll Ritter of Williams to develop the outdoor lab which will expand outdoor educational opportunities for students.

Ritter will work as a consultant in designing the lab and will be paid through the grant. The lab will include a one-half-mile nature trail, a wooden deck with seating capacity for 100 students, a one-half-acre prairie for wildflowers, a waystation for monarch butterflies and the planting of 30 chestnut trees.

Information provided to the Times-Mail, outlined the benefits of the outdoor lab as:

  • Getting more students outside,
  • Stimulating outdoor exploration and curiosity,
  • Making school subjects come to life,
  • Creating a setting for interaction among students,
  • Providing a setting for watching trees grow, and
  • Providing for a community trail and a sense of community pride and spirit.

Ritter, who left a post with the Sycamore Land Trust last year, designed an outdoor amphitheater, prairie and nature trail at Needmore Elementary School; renewed the Dora Bex Nature Trail and added an amphitheater and prairie at Fayetteville Elementary School; and assisted the Bedford North Lawrence High School environmental science classes with the Project GREEN program sponsored locally by the GM plant.

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