Our students are having a great time being outdoors this winter—exploring the woods, building forts with tree branches, going on prayer walks, and embracing the opportunity to take a break from the mitigation strategies that are necessary inside the building. Being outdoors has given our students the space to think, to move, and to be in community in a whole new way.
Even before the pandemic we knew time outdoors supports the physical, mental and emotional health of our students, and so we prioritized outdoor learning as part of our new 5-year strategic plan.
- Trails: This week we took a significant, and incredibly exciting, step towards that goal. In the snow, roughly 1.5 miles of new trails were cut through our woods to begin creating over 2 miles of walkable pathways on our campus.
- Outdoor Learning Spaces: We also designated multiple areas along the paths that will be developed into learning spaces for our PreK-12th grade students.
Cutting the paths was just the initial step and we are thankful for a team of parent volunteers who will be coming to campus over the next couple of weeks to help clear the trails. After the snow fully melts we hope to engage even more volunteers to help lay wood chips so that our students, and broader community, can enjoy the trails already this spring.
We look forward to sharing more about our outdoor learning initiative and the additional ways we will be supporting outdoor education during the Black and Gold Fund Drive, April 26-May 1. Our Fund Drive will culminate on Saturday, May 1 when families will also have an opportunity to come to campus and explore the trails themselves, experience God’s beautiful creation right on our very own campus, and be together, in-person, as a school community.