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Partnerships for Environmental Education

Westchester Elementary SchoolWestchester Elementary School, (Kirkwood, MO). Westchester Elementary School realized that the three acres of wooded area behind the building .were over-grown with invasive plant species and very little wildlife. To address these issues, Westchester participated in the Missouri Green Schools Quest and partnered with the Missouri Department of Education to design and execute a BioBlitz. Over the next two years, Westchester students and their families cleared an acre of the woods, eliminating the regrowth of invasive plants. The Parent-Teacher Organization raised $15,000 and built an amphitheater, a Naturescape learning area, seating, a new ropes course, a monarch waystation, and a rain garden. The scout programs built birdhouses, bug boxes, and a book walk along the trails. An Eagle Scout installed solar panels and a battery generator for the chicken coop. Parent volunteers and Green Team students maintain the school’s vegetable, native, and sensory gardens. Through careful planning, connecting community resources, and hard work, Westchester has an environmental sustainability project that is multi-functional for the community while giving students real-world learning opportunities.

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