Saturday, June 24, 2017

Classroom

There are so many distractions in today’s world that some youth might never see the sun come up except by watching it on television. National surveys say most children spend very little or no time observing or interacting in their natural environment and surroundings. Youth need assistance to understand the ecology of our natural resources. This understanding is a vital part of environmental education. One way to achieve this is through an outdoor classroom or outdoor learning facility.

The Quinault Division of Natural Resources Forestry Department is in the process of developing such an outdoor classroom on Quinault Indian Nation land. A site is in the process of being determined which will in the future feature an interpretive trail, a covered picnic, shelter, and a group learning area. The trail will wind through several age classes of timber, mostly old-growth, and around the headwaters of streams.

The outdoor classroom will provide an interactive learning area and help foster a partnership between QDNR and the Taholah school. Students and teachers from Taholah will be able to use this classroom as part of their regular curriculum. QDNR Forestry hopes to eventually make this learning area available to other local school districts such as Lake Quinault, North Beach, Hoquiam and Aberdeen. For more information or to volunteer time or donate materials, contact QDNR Timber Sale Administrator This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at (360) 276-8215 x563.

The plan is for students to get involved in many aspects of creating the outdoor classroom including site planning and design, planting native species, developing adopt-a-tree signs, and creating stepping stone mosaics to name just a few. Teachers will be thrilled to have this outdoor space where students can be immersed in learning about nature. They can observe bird behavior, calculate the dollar value of trees, measure plant growth, and collect data on seasonal changes.