Campbell Elementary School’s Wolverine Park Learning Labs

Kids laying down in the snow outsideSchools on Trails has created many opportunities for students at Campbell Elementary to become active stewards of Wolverine Park. The school’s strong outdoor learning connection with the park was even one of the reasons it was chosen to be the first STEM school in Anchorage!

Teachers from the school received training in outdoor and place-based learning through our ASD Summer Academy course and the iTREC! program. Now classes use the park regularly for STEM-based learning.

Students from 2nd and 6th-grade classes, taught by Dawn Wilcox and Ginny Gates, became intimately familiar with Wolverine Park as they created Adults and children sitting around seminar tableSchools on Trails maps of the space, incorporating math, geography, art, and the natural sciences into their lessons. The Schools on Trails map we created with them is a resource for the school and the greater community, and highlights their connection to the space.

We encouraged the students to think of ways they wanted to improve Wolverine Park for the benefit of the school and the surrounding community, and matched them with volunteer landscape architects, Elise Huggins (Earthscape) and Bri Keifer (Huddle), to take their ideas to the next level. Together they’re making the school’s dream of an outdoor classroom in the park a reality! Elise and Bri spent many hours with the students in the classroom and the park, teaching them about the design process and helping them share their vision with their local community council and the rest of the school. Spring 2017, the school received a $20,000 Anchorage Park Foundation Challenge Grant to build their learning labs! We will be working closely with them to implement this project.

Map of Cambpell Elementary School's Wolverine Park Master Plan