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Northern Wisconsin School District Adds Outdoor Classroom

07 Nov News

A northwoods school has added another classroom without expanding their building or taking up additional space.

The Butternut school district formally dedicated a new outdoor classroom and student forest late last week. Nearly half of the k-12 student body were joined by elected officials, community members and DNR secretary Cathy Stepp for the dedication.

Nearly $30,000 for the project was provided by a grant from the Wisconsin Environmental Education Board. Additional costs such as labor, time and materials were generously donated by the community.

The 18-feet by 38-feet environmental education classroom will also be used teach across the curriculum, including English and creative writing and art. The class has green features include solar panels and a composting toilet, and was put up by the building trades class. A trail begins a few feet from the building and is lined with signs that identify trees by their common and Latin names, along with what they are used for.

School forests are unique to Wisconsin having started near the area back in 1928 by Crandon, Laona and Wabeno. School lands total about 25,000 acres and are located in 68 of the 72 counties within Wisconsin.