Seating Areas & Trails to Make it Easy to Go Outside

Wonder. Curiosity. Play. Hands-on learning. Vitamin D. Love of Place. Local Food. A land stewardship ethic. These are all part of the mix for supporting healthy kids and healthy land. That's why we believe in making it easy for teachers to take students outside to learn, play, and steward this very special place.

By 2013, FRLT's Learning Landscapes program had installed trails, signs, and outdoor seating areas on ten school campuses and adjacent lands, with more in the works. These improvements create ideal outdoor learning environments for kids. Teachers report that in the short time since installing the trails and seating areas they have more than doubled their outdoor learning activity. With a full school year ahead, we anticipate teachers and kids getting outside even more to explore, play, and learn.

In August, Learning Landscapes completed its 10th outdoor classroom, with an outdoor seating area at Quincy Jr/Sr Highschool's China Rock. Upon seeing it, QHS alumna and parent Amy Carey commented, 

"It stopped me in my tracks when I brought my 7th grader to school. It is so well done. So beautiful! When I was at QHS, that area was ugly and trashy. Now it's such a "WOW" space. My kids need outdoor learning. I'm so impressed." 

We got to catch up with Amy's son Parker after his first day of junior high at QHS. Here's what he had to say:

"It's great! We were out there today. When it's got some plants, it will be even better. It's a nice, focused space. It's beautiful."

And with native seeds and plants from FRLT member Jim "Dr. Goose" Battagin, and the efforts of Mr. Logan's Natural Resources class at QHS, the China Rock area will soon have the native plants Parker envisions!

With your help, two more outdoor classrooms are planned for this year at Portola High School and Loyalton schools.

Partnership makes outdoor classrooms for kids possible: Financial support from the Stewardship Council, Susan Hopkins, Tom and Rosemary Tisch, Plumas Bank, and generous members like you, plus wonderful collaboration with local landowners, school districts, teachers, students, Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship, and local contractors and suppliers. 

Thank you!

Friday, October 18, 2013