Outdoor Education

PhenoCulture Wisconsin, LLC can help make the most of your property- no matter how small

 

Click here to find out a little more about Peter Watts as a Person of Earth

 

 


RiverLab Outdoor Education Area

This area is approximately nine acres across from Riverside Middle School and has about 900 feet of river shoreline

Peter has been involved with keeping this property 'undevoloped' since 1991

 

                            

RiverLab is now endowed with a lovely ~75’ x ~200’ native prairie installation

 

 

 

We are currently pursuing getting permission from the city and fire department to allow a controlled burn of the prairie

Without this vital step in prairie maintenance, the prairie ecosystem is incomplete

 

 

 

The middle school construction class built the 8'x 8' boardwalk sections and pylons

 

 

 

 

RiverLab's 150’ boardwalk through wetlands hosts an observation deck 

and bench seating for 60 all built without using school district funding

 

 

  

 

Students investigate the telltale signs that beavers have moved into the area

RiverLab has also become the nesting site of returning sandhill cranes

 

 

 

This nine acre parcel was slated to be sold off for revenue in a struggling district. We were able to save it by creating an outdoor classroom. Now students can explore, observe wildlife within the city limits and learn the importance of stewardship

 

Wetland areas like this provide so much more than recreational - or even learning - space

 

These lowlands help control flooding in the city by giving rising waters a place to go and hold onto that moisture in times of drought

 

This particular wetland is fed by virtually every storm drain on the school property and that water is naturally cleaned by cattails, river willow and other native species

 

 

 

Tapping trees to make syrup leads to a little 'tree hugging'

 

      

 

Sipping rainwater from a nasturtium leaf leads to a teachable moment about nanoscience and the lotus effect

 

Most kids benefit from being outside and connecting to nature is even vital for some

 

The photo on the right are seedlings started from a student's apple core. This boy consistently refused to do any work in school

We included this photo because this simple act of growing plants was so important to him that he became more engaged with school

 

Outdoor learning is another facet of education that is incredibly important and too often overlooked

 

 

 

Recent Google Earth screenshot of the boardwalk

 

 

The bench area and some of the prairie

 

 

Aerial view of the RMSG

 

 

  

 

                   

    

      

We developed a more formal learning area in our 7000 square foot garden, complete with a 10'x 20' pergola and Leopold benches

 


 

Classroom Extensions

As part of a summer school course called "How to be a Localvore", we offer small group tours of our gardens

*We'd love to host Homeschooling groups and other small groups

 

      

    

 

We teach students how to make pickles, sparkling lemonade, pesto - and we top it off with a nice snack of grilled zucchini

 


 

 

 

 

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