The Jackson Elementary School was recently awarded a $45,210 Sheboygan County Stewardship Grant.
grant is to help further the Jackson Green Scene Initiative (GSI). GSI
has been authorized by the Sheboygan Area School District to utilize 12
acres of fallow land around Jackson School following an emerging effort
to tie school grounds to the core mission of the school-teaching and
This project includes native
landscaping to create habitat and decrease storm water runoff, school
gardens for outdoor education and community use, and recreational
facilities for physical education and community use. This project will
help develop strong environmental stewardship and help reduce the
school's environmental footprint, thereby "greening" the school
Jackson School library media specialist
Elizabeth Kaetterhenry and parent Jane Kettler, who is a scientist with
Miller Engineers and Scientists, have been working on the initiative
for several years.
The Green Scene Initiative team
also includes Jackson teachers and parents: David Rautmann (physical
education teacher), Katy Ries (music teacher), Patti Holmes (fifth
grade teacher), Nancy Trimberger (second grade teacher), Levi Goins
(parent), Sheila Miesfeld (parent) and Judi Nigrelli (third grade
teacher). Miller Engineers & Scientists, an employee-owned local
consulting firm, donated professional services.
GSI Team is thankful that the Sheboygan County Planning Department
recognized the merit of this project and we are very excited to begin
work on this environmental education initiative," said Kaetterhenry. "I
would also like to thank Miller Engineers & Scientist for helping
us with the concept design. We couldn't have received the grant
Miller worked with the Jackson
School staff to generate a concept plan that incorporates many of the
elements requested by school staff.
"No words can
express how much this grant will positively impact our boys and girls
and the larger community we serve," said Lynn Walters, Jackson
Elementary School principal. "We can give back and make a difference in
our local community and for our taxpayers. The community and taxpayers
have been gracious to our school and the district for many years. What
a great opportunity to also teach our students stewardship through
their direct involvement in developing our green area as a service
project. This project will more than likely extend over ten years
which means it can touch many boys and girls lives in teaching in a
real life application the concept of service to others."
order to qualify for the grant, GSI had to meet specifics including
developing land and promoting conservation of green space.
is striving to become a 21st Century school which has the pillars of
health education and environmental education, in tandem with technology
and core skills," said Walters. "Furthermore, with the growth of
obesity in children and adults, we believe it's important to offer
opportunities for recreation. We are sitting on a land gold mine for
development around Jackson School. The location is ideal as there has
been much development recently. We have many families living in the
apartment units and newer subdivisions that can use our developed land
for recreational use all year round."
funds for GSI have come from fundraising activities including $1,400
raised during the 2007-08 school year, as well as $1,000 from the
Jackson School Buildings & Grounds fund. The Sheboygan Area School
District will provide the financing and work hours for relocating and
replacing the existing fence line around Jackson to provide safety to
school students and community users of the Green Scene project.
project is aligned with the movement toward accessible recreation
facilities, neighborhood cohesiveness and conservation subdivisions.
site is located in an area that shows the effects of urban sprawl. The
area was rural just 25 years ago but is now within the Sheboygan City
limits and bounded on two sides by a total of 590 apartment units,
housing approximately 1,000 people. Apartment complexes provide
population density to reduce sprawl, but do not always provide the
green space and outdoor amenities that cause people to choose large
residential lots in rural areas. The GSI development will provide a
variety of accessible outdoor activities for residents in the area
particularly those residing in the adjacent apartment complexes.
in the initiative is a .25 mile walking path that will be used for
physical education classes and the community after school hours. A
portion of the west side of the path will be a measured 100-yard
straight away for timing sprints and teaching sprint techniques during
physical fitness classes.
A wet meadow and
butterfly habitat will be created with a mixture of wet meadow and
upland plants. The area will serve as a comprehensive educational
resource for students studying different types of habitats, soils,
erosion, plants and insets.
Ten raised garden beds,
no larger than 4'x4', will be used for classroom and community use. The
classroom gardens will be irrigated by a rain harvesting system that
will improve the quality of storm water while reducing the quantity of
storm water leaving the site.