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Marshall County Central Schools is proud to share it was selected by the University of Minnesota Humphrey School as a winner of the 2018 Local Government Innovation Awards in the School Category for its Outdoor Prairie and Outdoor Classroom Learning area. Superintendent Jeffrey Lund and science teacher Josh Tharaldson will accept the award on the districts behalf on December 13.
About the Outdoor Prairie and Outdoor Classroom:
Marshall County Central District leaders met with officials from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to explore converting seven acres of unused school land to an outdoor prairie wetland restoration area. The resulting 10-year agreement has MCC science students working alongside Forest Service staff to reshape, seed and restore the land, including planting over 1,000 milkweed plants to support Monarch butterflies.
Students and the community can see how the native lands looked prior to settlement. It also is an important learning area for social studies, art, photography, and recreation. Most recently the Agassiz Audubon Society provided a solar-powered webcam to view bird feeders and bird nesting areas and access to a grant for binoculars for ecology students. Although science is the main emphasis, the area can be used by many teachers for any subject.
While many schools focus on technology and what they can do within walls to connect students and the world, this program educates students outside walls through a connection to nature and the local historical landscape.
For the Local Government Innovation Award, a panel of judges considered submissions for their creativity, sustainability, and collaboration. The awards program is organized in partnership with the Bush Foundation and its Nation Nation Building Initiative; and co-sponsored by the League of Minnesota Cities, the Association of Minnesota Counties, the Minnesota Association of Townships, and the Minnesota School Boards Association.
This is the second statewide award Marshall County Central Schools has received for the Outdoor Prairie and Outdoor Classroom this school year. The program received the 2018 Minnesota Rural Education Association Profile of Excellence Award.
For more information about the Marshall County Central Restored Prairie Site and Outdoor classroom we encourage you to view the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/mccrestoredprairie/.