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Azle Elementary School
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Outdoor Learning @ Azle Elementary
Due to the fact that children today spend 7.5 hours a day connected or wired to a device contributing to a rise in obesity rates. The time is now for schools to start reversing this trend. I want to create a sustainable long range plan to establish and outdoor learning center that will do the following:
Extend and Enrich science curriculum (no child left inside 5)
Educate children about sustainable practices in preserving the earth
Deepen relationship between parents and schools as we do this together
Promote healthy lifestyles through healthy organics, and exercise
Build an Organic outdoor center focusing on Native Texas species, partnering with Tarrant County Master Gardeners , and Texas Extension Office this will have a walking path with metal stakes identifying the plant. Among the plants will be included succulents and xeriscaping. It will be irrigated via a drip water line from an extension of the existing water line that services the school grounds. Included will be three 8x3 raised bed gardens, filled with organic soil and dressed with organic cedar mulch. The Garden will also contain a "disappearing stream" that will be operated by a key (to prevent vandalism) powered by an alternative fuel source such as wind or solar. The stream will be disappearing to minimize risk. When the Stream in not in use it will be used for demonstration to show the effects of water erosion on the rocks. Contained in the stream bed will be "river rock" that has been rounded and smooth by water. There will also be a cross section of the earth to show students about the layers of sedimentary rocks. Included in the rocks will be fossils of both animal and plant life.
This garden will be used by teachers in the fall by seeding the wildflower area with mud balls containing wildflowers that will emerge in the spring, which the flowers can be dissected as we learn about the parts of a flower and pollination. In the fall we will be able to show the children about Weather, Erosion and deposition with the stream model. In the winter we will also use the space to talk about fossils, fossil fuel formation, and alternative energies. Children will be able to observe a model of the sedimentary process.as we discuss plant and animal lifecycles; we will release ladybugs and praying mantis for insect control. Earth day activities in the spring will extend the learning to the outdoors as well.Included in the space will be a very small outdoor amphitheater constructed mostly by earthen berms and rock. This will serve as an outdoor area that can be used by all classes of the school to have assemblies or simply go outside and does the school work when the weather permits
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