The idea of developing an outdoor classroom for students at Martensville High School (MHS) has been percolating for a while according to MHS teacher Teresa Koop-Hunter. After applying for funding on behalf of the school to the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation in January, Koop-Hunter stated that the school was thrilled when they were informed that they had been approved for a $6000 grant.
Currently, there is a long-term plan in place to develop an accessible, multi-use, land based educational space. “It is a large project that will evolve over time,” Koop-Hunter said. Phase I will include building a patio/seating area with a pathway for access and a teaching space. Future phases will involve adding more native plantings, increasing biodiversity in the school’s greenspace and more. No definitive plans have been made as there are many options available.
MHS has a teacher committee in place that is committed to working on the first phase and next year, they will be seeking student input for the rest of the space plan. “The classes working most directly with the initial development and maintenance will be some of the science classes and Industrial Arts. All classes will be able to utilize the space once it is finished,” Koop-Hunter added.
For projects like this, school operational funds are not used, therefore; the school is required to seek further grant money from other organizations. “We’re very grateful for the community support that we have received thus far. If any community members would be interested in supporting our project as we proceed through funding, materials, expertise, etc., we would be very grateful.”