The Jackson Woods Outdoor Classroom area is a work in progress. The vision is to create a space where teachers from the two elementary schools across Avenel Boulevard can bring youngsters for lessons about art, nature and other topics.
In 2021, a grant-funded team of youth workers and adult volunteers cleared the area of invasive vines and plants. A wonderful bench was created by our Department of Public Works out of an old park sign, and stone sculptures of a frog and a ladybug were painted by our artistic youths, one of whom also designed our beautiful logo. The team also created a word garden for use by our young students.
Another local artist created and donated a unique totem sculpture, and an 8th grade teacher and her students are painting paving stones to look like book covers that young students will recognize.
Beyond keeping the invasive plants at bay, plans are to complete the classroom by adding tables and seating to allow for hands on activity by students. Feedback from teachers and students will guide further enhancements to the area.
The Jackson Woods bench, ladybug and frog sculptures are a focal point in the outdoor classroom area.
Closeups of the ladybug and frog sculptures
Pumpkins decorate an area just cleared of invasive Japanese knotweed. Despite covering roots with layers of carboard and wood chips, regular maintenance of the area will be required.
Daffodils peek out of a cleared area in the Outdoor Classroom
Pavers painted as book covers and the word garden of painted rocks. We also hope to continually expand the word garden by adding new word rocks.
Local artist Mark Davis and his wonderful totem sculpture.