MOUNT MORRIS, Michigan ─ Science students from Beecher High School celebrated an early Earth Day on Thursday when they officially opened the nature trail outside their school.
About 25 students stayed after class to plant flowers beneath a ring of birdhouses near the trail.
Taking education into the outdoors is part of an effort spearheaded by Dr. Don Hammond, a science teacher at the school, who wrote grants to create the trail and a garden, as well as to clean up the shores of a nearby pond.
“It’s awesome,” said Katoria Mosley, a sophomore at Beecher High School. “It’s good for the Earth and good for our school.”
Discovering PLACE, an initiative that is part of University Outreach at UM-Flint, is one of the agencies that supported creating Beecher’s outdoor classroom.
Discovering PLACE has been working with Flint-area urban schools to create projects that connect youth with their surroundings since the organization was founded two years ago as the Flint hub of the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative. Beecher High School is the first success story for Discovering PLACE.
“I like it because it’s outdoors and it’s beautiful,” said Joseph Booker, a sophomore at the school.
“I’d rather be out here,” said Adam Avery, also a sophomore. “We’re learning about (science) hands-on instead of looking at a book.”
Discovering PLACE is a resource to help Flint-area urban schools create hands-on curriculum projects to connect youth with their communities. Discovering PLACE offers mini-grants, teacher resources and a network of support for educators to establish these hands-on projects. One of eight hubs in the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative, Discovering PLACE operates through University Outreach at the University of Michigan-Flint. For more information, go here.