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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