September 21, 2017, Anchorage, AK – Campbell STEM Elementary has big dreams of regularly taking their lessons outside, especially as Anchorage’s first STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) elementary school. Wolverine Park, just a block from the school, is already utilized by students to observe wildlife, record seasonal changes, and map the park geography, but the school is inspired to take their involvement in the park to the next level. On Friday, September 22, the STEM Afterschool Club will break ground at Wolverine Park and begin implementing some of their educational improvement goals by planting new shrubs and seeds in the park.
With help of volunteer landscape architects Elise Huggins (Earthscape) and Bri Kiefer (Huddle AK), the students developed an educational improvement plan for Wolverine Park, which includes an outdoor learning lab with seating and writing spaces, interpretive signs highlighting the local birds and vegetation, trail improvements, and more.
This Spring, Campbell STEM Elementary was awarded a $20,000 Anchorage Park Foundation Challenge Grant to help fund their project. Challenge Grants, with support from Rasmuson Foundation, encourage community stewardship and partnership to make positive changes in Anchorage’s parks and trails. Recipients of the grant must match the funds with private donations, in-kind services, or volunteer hours.
Anchorage Park Foundation’s Schools on Trails works with the community, local and federal partners, and the Anchorage School District to increase connections of parks near schools and their use by teachers and students. The program is working closely to support the Wolverine Park improvements, similar to its project last year with Nunaka Valley Elementary to install learning labs in Russian Jack Springs Park.
“Campbell STEM Elementary was among three Anchorage schools to receive Challenge Grants this year,” says Schools on Trails Coordinator Brendan Stuart. “From outdoor classrooms to new trails, we look forward to helping these students’ visions come to fruition.”
STEM Afterschool Club Planting
Friday September 22, 3:30-5pm
1006 W. 74th Ave