BCCD has worked hard to ensure that no child is left indoors. Indeed, we've focused considerable effort over the years on developing outdoor learning labs for elementary and middle school student populations. We've implemented hands-on trail-building and community tree mapping programs for older youth. And we've trained teachers in the use of those outdoor facilities. Among our projects are:
Mettawee School Students.
With the Town of Rupert, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Mettawee Community School, BCCD established a Mettawee River Interpretative Station on land owned by the school adjacent to the river. We raised funds to equip a water quality monitoring lab for 4th through 6th graders at the school, to build a monitoring station on the river's edge, and to train teachers in the use of the materials and the station.
With many partners* and generous funding from several sources, BCCD built nature trails to serve Pownal, Monument (in Bennington), Molly Stark (in Bennington), and Shaftsbury Elementary schools. At North Bennington Graded School, we worked with teachers and students to interpret the existing Mile-Around Woods trail. All trails were intentionally located on-site or only a short and safe walk away.
At the Monument, Shaftsbury, and North Bennington schools, BCCD worked with students to map and understand the landscapes traversed by their trails, and to produce trail guides.
For a map of the Mile-Around Woods trail produced by students at North Bennington Graded School, click here. For the map of the Linda Tilgner Memorial Nature Trail in Howard Park, produced by fourth- graders at Shaftsbury Elementary School, click here.
*Our special thanks go to art teacher Adrian Sweeney, educator Ed Saunders and Bennington County Regional Commission GIS specialist Jim Henderson for their help with these projects.