In September, 2009, with the dedication of our Outdoor Classroom pavilion, Carroll Lutheran School embarked on an ambitious and innovative solution for using a portion of the school campus previously considered to be unusable. Nearly three acres of the grounds next to the entrance included a wetlands and an overgrown pasture growing invasive weeds and adjacent to derelict farm buildings.
Students in the Fifth Grade class visiting the area to observe tadpoles conceived a more formal classroom area that would allow them to take advantage of this natural resource and share it with others. With the realization that this area could be renovated as an outdoor learning opportunity, along with the help of some very dedicated individuals and a generous grant from the Thrivent Foundation, a 24′ x 40′ Outdoor Classroom pavilion was planned and constructed overlooking the area.
Students, teachers, and clubs are already informally using the area for nature study, art and science, and plans are taking shape for projects that would incorporate service learning and more in-depth studies into the curriculum. With the addition of electricity, the Outdoor Classroom became an active hub for science investigations.