Students hit the dirt for Earth Day

A student at Sandy Ridge Elementary plays in one of the planting beds at the school’s new outdoor classroom. Students used the classroom April 5 as part of an Earth Day celebration. Photo courtesy of Sandy Ridge Elementary

WAXHAW – Students at Sandy Ridge Elementary got their hands dirty April 5 as part of the school’s Earth Day celebrations.

Fifth-graders spent the last few weeks building raised bed planters, one for each grade, at the school’s new outdoor classroom so students could play a game of “Friend or Foe” and learn which insects are beneficial and which aren’t for gardens. Scott Milford, owner of Charlotte Playsets and a Sandy Ridge parent, donated or gave discounted pricing for materials for the beds. The Walmart Foundation and school parent-teacher association provided funding for the project, and the Lowes Home Improvement in Waxhaw gave a number of supplies. Local Cub Scout Pack 20 added to the project with six benches, a dry erase board and storage shed.

The school hopes to expand the outdoor classroom once additional funds become available.

The Earth Day celebration included a presentation on sun safety by local dermatologist Marc Darst, who is helping the school apply for a grant for a sun shade, and a geology lesson from parent and geologist Rohit Shetty. Children also filled pots to decorate school entrances and learned about worms and composting.

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