Friday, May 12, 2017

James Clemens Celebrates Outdoor Classroom Certification

Posted by John Peck in General

James Clemens High School celebrated its certification May 12 as an official Outdoor Classroom School.

Friday’s ceremony capped months of work involving dozens of teachers, volunteers, parents, students and sponsors with lots of donated material and labor.

“It’s not over yet,” said Principal Dr. Brian Clayton of the pledge to continuously modify, add to and maintain the outdoor classroom for future years.

auditorium stage with lineup of Outdoor Classroom officials
The celebration sanctions the Outdoor Classroom School as an official Schoolyard Wildlife Habitat through the National Wildlife Federation.
The Alabama Wildlife Federation presented the school with an official Alabama Outdoor Classroom certification sign, a National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat sign, and an Outdoor Classroom Activity Kit. The kit has materials and resources such as field identification guides, magnifying loupes, a water testing kit and a cardinal directions sign that students can use to explore their outdoor classroom’s habitat and study their environment,

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.

Months of work went into developing various features of the Outdoor classroom, which includes a pollination station, bog garden, butterfly garden, Flower bed, solar lighting and charging stations, raised bed gardens where students can learn to grow and harvest healthy vegetables and herbs, compost station, and fruit bush orchard. THere is also an outdoor seating area for instruction and gathering, fish pond, nature trail, and other features.
View these local news links from coverage as the project was being developed.


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, Sg. Maj. Samuel McCray, Kristen Steele, Meleighsa McLaughlin, Amy Haley, Mary Crouch, Michael Merritt, Joelle Lilavois, and Allison Miller. April Lupardus Waltz, AWF Outdoor Classroom Coordinator, provided technical assistance to design their outdoor classroom site and was a key speaker at Friday’s dedication ceremony.

entrance sign to outdoor classroom outside


students digging edges of stream bed

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