Wohlwend GROWS project will bring class outside

Wohlwend GROWS project will bring class outside
Posted on 08/17/2020
Wohlwend GROWSWohlwend Elementary School students will have a one-of-a-kind outdoor learning experience thanks to campus renovations funded by a $15,000 grant from the Missouri Department of Conservation.

There is a 3-5 year plan to turn the school grounds into an outdoor learning space. Work began this summer as volunteers planted wildflowers, installed birdhouses built by the school’s Conservation Club and refurbished the outdoor classroom. There are also plans for students to plant more native wildflower seeds this fall.

“The goal is for the prairie to become an outdoor laboratory for students from all schools in the district,” said Wohlwend Elementary principal Dr. Dave Meschke. “We are already working with kids from the Oakville High School National Science Honor Society and are making plans to partner with Oakville Middle School students next year.”
The completed project will include outdoor study nooks, a shade garden, dry creek bed, and benches and coverage to serve as an outdoor classroom. Improvement in the outdoor space should alleviate drainage issues. 

Wohlwend Elementary teachers will participate in professional development on experiential education and will be attending training sessions to help staff members learn outdoor activities and strategies that will help maximize student learning in prairie spaces. 

“We’ll apply for more grants along the way as we look to make this space an exemplar for the St. Louis area,” Dr. Meschke said. 

When students are able to return to school, outdoor classrooms, like Wohlwend GROWS and others throughout the district, will provide safe learning spaces conducive to social distancing.

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