Friday, March 31, 2017

Outdoor Classroom Project Nearing Completion at James Clemens

Posted by John Peck in General

Students, faculty and volunteers waged a marathon day of work at James Clemens High School preparing the school's outdoor classroom.

Thursday's work was done under the watchful eye of the Alabama Wildlife Federation, which sanctions and certifies Outdoor Classrooms statewide. Madison City has several already, including Liberty Middle and Horizon Elementary, with more on the way.

workers digging a pathway for water from a pond
James Clemens is enrolled in the Alabama Outdoor Classroom (AOC) Program—a partnership between the Alabama Wildlife Federation (AWF), Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and Alabama Cooperative Extension System that provides technical assistance for schools that want to develop sustainable outdoor classroom sites and use them as effective teaching tools.
Thursday's work included installation of a pollination station, bog garden, butterfly garden, flower bed, solar lighting and charging systems, and other outdoor classroom learning stations on the school grounds.

Learn more about the project in these news links from local TV coverage.


WZDX Fox-54:

James Clemens' outdoor classroom site is the vision of their outdoor classroom planning committee which includes Patricia Williams, Brittany Bankston, Greg Ennis, Samuel McCray, Kristen Steele, Meleighsa McLaughlin, Amy Haley, Mary Crouch, Michael Merritt, Joelle Lilavois, and Allison Miller. April Lupardus Waltz, AWF Outdoor Classroom Coordinator, is providing technical assistance to design their outdoor classroom site and to assist with their Outdoor Classroom Day.
Wildlife Trail Entrance sign

Students will have the opportunities to learn about limiting factors in wildlife habitats, to study vital pollinators that support agriculture in Northwest Alabama, and to conduct water quality tests (i.e. pH, dissolved oxygen, flow rate, temperature, nitrate levels). In addition, the new solar panels and charging stations will allow students to use electronic devices for longer periods of time as they collect data in the outdoor classroom, while also providing lighted walking paths for community members who would like to take walks through the outdoor classroom in the evenings.

The funds and materials for James Clemens High School’s new outdoor classroom learning stations come from an Alabama Wildlife Federation Outdoor Classroom Grant along with donations from parents and Madison County Chairman Dale Strong, Bobby Valentine- Assistant Manager at Lowes, Josh Williams- Store Manager at Home Depot, Roger Lyon- Owner of Enchanted Forest, Mike Kirkland- Supervisor of Vulcan Rock Material, City of Madison District 2 Commissioner Steve Harraway, Legacy Landscaping and more.

For more information, please visit the AWF’s website at

Wide angle shot of students digging, planting, etc.




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