Maple Street School Launches Outdoor Classroom, Installs Solar Panels
Manchester’s Maple Street School launched its Outdoor Classroom initiative this June, raising over half of its $100,000 goal at a 20th anniversary celebration. The school worked with state and local officials starting this past spring, and contracted a forester to expand and improve an existing trail through the woods on the 21-acre campus. The Outdoor Classroom includes access to Munson Brook, its falls, the Battenkill and views of Bourne Brook. It also includes a meadow and access to mature tree stands and wildlife habitat.
“Maple Street students have all been using this space throughout the fall,” said head of school Fanning Hearon. “With improved access points, our students and faculty have been making the most of their time outdoors, enjoying all this beautiful space has to offer. We have been so excited to host parents, neighbors and friends down on our trails as well. It is a beautiful gathering space.” Faculty were busy this fall planning for the next phase, which will include tree identification, wildlife cameras, wildflower planting and more. The Upper School science department will begin a project to raise trout from eggs with Trout Unlimited in January to hopefully release the fish to the watershed.
In addition, nearly 200 solar panels were installed this summer on the school building’s roof, with the aim of eventually allowing Maple Street School to become power-neutral by generating all of its electricity through solar power. This 66kW project will produce an output of 70,300 kWh. “As a K-8 school, we are constantly talking with students about being good stewards of our environment,” said Hearon. “This project streamlines that goal and brings it directly into our students’ hands.” For further information, call 802-362-7137 or go to maplestreetschool.com.