MHS Outdoor Classroom

By: Tyler Earp, Freshman

The outdoor classroom at the high school is currently underused and has deteriorated over the years. My name is Tyler Earp and I am working on my Eagle Scout Project, which will be improving the outdoor classroom area of MHS. The project will do this in three ways: site conservation, building new raised beds, and installing a greenhouse.

The conservation work will rejuvenate the site and make it easier to walk around the area. Within the outdoor classroom area, there are lots of weeds, invasive species, and overgrown plants that need to be cut back. We will be working with the Marblehead Conservancy to take out Black Locust, Bittersweet, Japanese Knotweed, and other invasive and overgrown plants. We will be planting new native plants in the space to replace the plants that we remove.

There are currently two, four feet wide by seventeen feet long raised beds in the outdoor classroom. They are about ten years old and have fallen into disrepair over the years. Four new raised beds will be built to replace the current raised beds. The new raised beds will allow the BRYT program (Bridge for Resilient Youth in Transition – helps students struggling with mental health) to continue having outdoor class time and provide a better planting space for them to use.

We will install a greenhouse that will be roughly 16 feet wide by 21 feet long. The greenhouse is the biggest part of my project and will have the largest impact in terms of curriculum. The greenhouse can be used in the Science, Culinary Arts, Foreign Language, Fine Arts, and Language Arts curriculums, as well as by clubs such as the National Green Schools Society (Environmental Club). The Cooking classes will be able to use freshly grown fruits, vegetables, and herbs to cook. The Foreign Language classes will be able to grow and taste foods native to Spanish speaking or French speaking countries around the world. The Science department will be able to use the greenhouse for labs involving plants or examine plant cells under a microscope. The Science department will also be able to study ecosystems and tropical climates, photosynthesis, the chemistry of plants, light, energy, the greenhouse effect, plant reproduction, genetics, lifecycles, abiotic and biotic factors, and more. Arts classes will be able to draw, paint, or sculpt plants in the greenhouse. Language Arts students may even be able to do some nature writing. The greenhouse could function as a classroom space to provide a nice break from traditional classroom learning. The BRYT program and National Green Schools Society could use the greenhouse to grow plants, but also work on taking care of the plants while learning isn’t affected. There are many other potential applications for a greenhouse.

In order to complete this project, a total of $75,000 is needed; I have currently raised about a third of my fundraising goal. If you have questions about the project, please email info@mhsgreenhouse.org. If you would like to learn more about the project or would like to donate, please visit mhsgreenhouse.org

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