BGMS to develop outdoor classoom with help of local donation


Bowling Green Middle School will use a $45,000 grant from the Lubrizol Foundation to create an outdoor learning environment on the school campus.

The award was announced at Monday’s board of education meeting.

Middle school science teacher Paula Williams has taken on a project to create an outdoor classroom, and with this donation, it will become a reality, said Bowling Green City Schools Superintendent Ted Haselman at the meeting.

The proposed outdoor classroom will be located between the schoolyard prairie and the practice fields, transforming an underutilized area of green space into a space for student engagement and exploration. The school’s partnership with the Toledo Zoo has facilitated the development and management of the schoolyard prairie, serving as a model for student-centered science and inquiry learning projects, according to a press release from the district.

The outdoor classroom will create much-needed seating and work space adjacent to the prairie and serve as a multifunctional space for various subjects and provide opportunities for students, staff, and the community.

This project aims to provide students with hands-on learning opportunities while fostering a deeper connection to nature and the environment.

“The outdoor classroom will provide an atmosphere of problem-solving, critical thinking, and creativity,” Williams said in the press release. “It will be a place for students to not only learn but also relax, unwind, and connect with the natural world.”

Middle school Principal Eric Radabaugh commended Williams for her vision for the outdoor classroom and her leadership throughout the grant process.

“Her dedication to the project will enrich the educational journey of our students for years to come,” he said.

Key features of the proposed outdoor classroom include:

• A raised area outlined with all-weather landscaping timbers and filled with woodchips or playground mulch for easy maintenance.

• Picnic tables, supply table, bench, locked storage boxes, display boards for student work, outdoor trash cans, raised garden beds, a weather station, rain gauge, windsock, sundial, and shade sail to enhance the learning experience.

• Accessibility enhancements, including a concrete sidewalk and wheelchair accessible picnic table.

“We are immensely thankful for The Lubrizol Foundation’s commitment to advancing education and sustainability, and we look forward to the positive impact this outdoor classroom will have on our students,” Haselman said.

“We’ve got great kids and great staff,” he said.

The district’s building and maintenance department is scheduled to begin working on the project in May, according to the press release.

The board also accepted the following donations:

• Clothes and snacks valued at $75 to Conneaut Elementary from the Rieman Family; snacks for Kenwood Elementary valued at $400 from the Snyder Family, $75 from Jodi Laubis, $60 from Dee Monteleone, and $65 from Joe and Emma Higgins; snacks and clothing valued at $175 to Kenwood Elementary from Jessie VanVorhis; and backpacks valued at $300 to Bowling Green City Schools from an anonymous donor.

• For the DECA International Career Development Conference, $250 from John and Lindsay Miller, $100 from Clay By Bridget LLC, $360 from the Bowling Green Blueliners, $100 from Megan E. Newlove Attorney at Law, and $100 from Newlove Realty.

• High school after prom, $750 from Nathan M. Downey DDS, MS, Inc.; high school Model UN, $25 from Beverly M. Miner; high school girls soccer, $600 from an anonymous donor from the Class of 2025; high school science department scholarship, $500 from an anonymous donor; and lunch accounts, $500 from an anonymous donor.

Donations totaled $49,435.

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