A new outdoor classroom is open for business! Several partners including; Duluth East High School Foundation, the MN DNR, the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund and Conservation Corps came together to build an outdoor classroom and wildlife sanctuary. Our Youth Outdoors School and Community Forest Crew worked hard to help create a space for students of Duluth East High School to engage in outdoor learning.
Features of the classroom include seating for 48 students, bird feeders, suet blocks, a bat house and 3 trail cameras. In order to get the classroom ready for students, crews spread 10 yards of class 5 gravel along the path and across the seating area, installed a very simple step system using boulders and class 5, erected a 4×4 and chain railing system to aid movement up and down the hillside, and we began to create a trail leading to the Eagle’s nest.
The work will not stop here, however. Future plans include building a simple bridge across the creek, extending the trail from the bridge to the Eagles nest and completing maintenance on the trail built last year. The class will also be concentrating on invasives, mostly buckthorn.
“Working with Conservation Corps Minnesota and Iowa was a major factor in the success of our project. CCMI foreman Nick Cox was easy to work with. Nick repeatedly confirmed that CCMI was meeting our expectations, plus reconciling the work completed with our plans. Nick was also a valuable resource for ideas and cost control; Nick recognized the budget restrictions of a school project and made suggestions to keep the costs down.
The work crew was also awesome, working hard on the project and asking if we were satisfied.
I was so happy with the end result of the project, I am planning on asking for assistance with invasives next fall. Our forest is being over run by buckthorn, amur maple, and black locust. Although we cut a lot down this fall, the work would go much faster with chainsaws. I hope we qualify for a team effort cutting, chipping and spraying next year.