UNC Greensboro’s Moss Street Partnership School (MSPS) was awarded a $15,000 NC Schools Go Outside (GO) Grant to build an on-campus learning center in the form of a half-mile learning trail. Construction on the trail began in early November.
Funded by the NC Outdoor Heritage Advisory Council, the learning components include interpretive signs describing the woodland forest, the value of wildlife corridors, and the role riparian forests play in water quality. Signs will feature QR codes with links to further online learning. Three interactive displays will allow for data collection and measurement of temperature, rainfall, wind direction, and elevation level with textual explanations that place these measures within the context of wildlife and ecosystem sustainability. MSPS students will help name the trail, create a logo, and create a trail map and guide.
“The new trail is a linear outdoor classroom,” said MSPS Principal Catina Chestnut, “as it offers Moss Street students the opportunity to experience nature, and our teachers the chance to incorporate the trail into instructional lessons, all while getting physical activity in the process. We are grateful to the City of Reidsville who have volunteered to maintain the trail, along with Rockingham County Education Foundation (RCEF), to ensure the trail’s completion and sustainability. It’s a legacy project, and it represents our commitment to serve the students and the community for years to come. It’s a great example of our ‘Better Together’ motto.”
A group of agencies and leaders were integral to the project’s success: MSPS Co-Director Christina O’Connor, Principal Catina Chestnut, and colleagues; Jenny Edwards, RCEF executive director; Dr. Rodney Shotwell, Rockingham County Schools superintendent; Dr. Deirdre Moyer, student and family health education and engagement coordinator at RCS; Preston Mitchell, City of Reidsville city manager; Tony McGee, landscape architect; and Brian Williams, program manager, Dan River Basin Association, among others.
Under the auspices of the NC Wildlife Resources Commission, the Heritage Advisory Council advises State agencies and the General Assembly on the promotion of outdoor recreational activities to preserve North Carolina’s outdoor heritage for future generations. The Council awards NC Schools Go Outside (GO) Grants to state K-12 schools so they can engage and teach students outside in nature.
Photography by Martin W. Kane, University Communications