Students spruce up outdoor learning centers
The sun, combined with the soil and water, bring forth life each spring.
Life that sometimes needs care and attention if it is to survive until the next spring.
More than 400 students worked in the afternoon sun Thursday, March 14, to help preserve three outdoor learning sites at Basehor Elementary School.
BES students raked leaves, pulled weeds, picked up sticks and pruned shrubs as part of the school's Garden Clean-up day, a day in which students helped to improve the gardens in preparation for Earth Day on April 19.
"These gardens are maintained throughout the year by students and volunteers," said Shelley Stevens, BES Outdoor Wildlife Learning Services (OWLS) coordinator.
OWLS is a volunteer organization of BES parents. The organization was formed in 1996.
Similar programs are currently being formed at Glenwood Ridge and Linwood elementary schools.
Three gardens at BES are cared for by the OWLS program; a woodland garden located in front of the school, a butterfly garden in the back and a water garden located in the school's courtyard.
The OWLS program is in charge of the garden's upkeep, Stevens said.
In addition to making the school more aesthetically pleasing, Stevens said teachers take advantage of the gardens for educational purposes.
"They are here for the students to learn," she said.
She said the OWLS group is looking for volunteer organizations to adopt and help maintain the gardens during the summer months.
"Basically, the gardens bloom in the summer and the kids don't get to see it," Stevens said.
"School is out and OWLS takes the responsibility to keep them maintained before school opens up," she added.
Volunteer groups have adopted the gardens in years past for community service projects, she said.
If anyone is interested in adopting any of the gardens they may contact Stevens at (913) 724-3101.