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Chadwick's Outdoor Classroom

With the help of a $19,989 Coover grant the Chadwick, Missouri, R-1 School District campus will now have a fully functional outdoor classroom and Ozark Mountain herb garden.

With a little financial boost, students, volunteers and staffers from Lowe’s in nearby Ozark have turned a previously useless patch of gravel and grass into one of the most innovative classroom projects in southern Missouri.

With the additional help of a $5,000 Heroes Grant from Lowe’s–which included materials, plants, furnishings and expert advice–multi-tiered levels of decks and sitting space have been erected where previously there was limestone chat and scrub brush. Umbrellas, a shade awning and multiple access points make the space comfortable and useful for all students.

For the schools, the herb garden will serve cross-curricular purposes; students will not only maintain and grow the plants, but learn about their home uses, medicinal properties, and importance to the Ozarks’ early history and ecology in classes spanning from elementary school to high school.

Other project objectives, as outlined in the grant proposal, include a website to track the project’s progress, a space in the garden reserved for elementary students, a community display at Chadwick’s annual Railroad Days celebration and collaboration with Christian County’s Master Gardener chapter for professional assistance.


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