Rebuilding a Nature Trail

High school students studying environmental science discussed ways to green their school. An old trail near the school had become impassable; this offered the opportunity to design and build a nature trail that could be used by students and the community.

During the course of the project, the students took the impassable wilderness area at the edge of the playground and created a winding trail about 1/2 mile long. Working with their community partners, the local foresters helped students use GPS to map out the trail. They also partnered with a local hardware store owner, a local contracting company that delivered gravel, the local mill, and teachers and students at the school to accomplish the project. They cut the path, lined the surface and added crushed gravel, then worked on labeling the trees with names and interesting facts, so that the younger students in the K-12 school might walk the trail and learn about the forest. The trail is also available to the general public; the beauty of this natural habitat is now available to everyone.

Students reflected on their work and demonstrated their learning by writing essays and creating a presentation to illustrate the construction of the trail. They presented their work at the KIDS Consortium Student Summit.The high school environmental science class will continue to work on improving the trail by adding informational signage about different habitats and organisms that live in the area.