Outdoor Advisory Committee

The MTRS Outdoor Advisory Committee (OAC) is transitioning to be a sub-committee of the Local Education Council (LEC). If you are a care provider of a student in grades 7–12 and have an interest in helping us develop outdoor spaces for the school and community, please consider joining or attending a monthly LEC meeting!

Current OAC Projects 2023

  1. Vermont Community Foundation Grant ($10,000): We recently applied for this grant to request funding for building an outdoor kiosk with a working board and picnic tables.  Middle school teachers have been requesting an outdoor location for when they integrate the campus into their curriculum. Other staff members, sports teams, as well as the community, could also use this. We will find out in the spring if we get the funding.
  2. Deerfield River Watershed Association is giving us a small grant of $250 to buy four closed trash cans for the front and side entrances. Our elementary students have noticed that animals come frequently after school (and during school) to take out items of interest. This was spreading more trash around the campus. We will close these new cans, and they will help support our campus care initiatives.
  3. Survey for New MTOC (Mohawk Trail Outdoor Classroom): We asked staff/students what they would like to see happen to the new courtyard classroom next. People indicated their top three picks are: new doors (glass, allows us to see the space and access it easier), mural/artwork, and a sensory garden. Rachel Silverman will do the mural idea this spring with help from a local artist. They will work together to create something on the wall with students.  Doors, we learned, are very expensive, so that idea is on hold for now. The sensory garden is what we are working on next (see below).
  4. Sensory Garden: Our students and staff really liked this idea. Things you can touch, taste, smell, as well as enjoy looking at. In March 2023, we will be asking our community members for donations to help with this project. We will work with students to create raised beds that invite students. In addition, a parent is donating a solar fountain. The sound of water relaxes many people.
  5. Accessible Path: We feel it is important that everyone can use the new outdoor classroom space. Currently, there is a step down and no path. We would like to install a crushed stone path (most likely) that could accommodate a wheelchair. We have recently reached out to STCC to see if any students show interest in helping us plan this idea. Anyone familiar with such work would be welcome to help out.

Planned Projects and Initiatives for 2022–2023

  • MS environmental elective class
  • MS composting
  • Composting pilot at BSE 
  • Outdoor seating development plan 
  • Mountain biking 
  • Civics project - Pump track for mountain biking 
  • Pollinator garden 
  • Culvert project in Ashfield 
  • Solar panel potential at MTRS 
  • Start of school hiking

Academic Classes with an Outdoor Focus for 2021–2022

  • NHS introduced composting in HS
  • Outdoor lunches 
  • Hiking elective 
  • Snowshoeing unit as part of wellness
  • Field Biology class elective
  • Grade 7 - Campus clean-up for Earth Day
  • Grade 10 civics project - Campus clean-up
  • Grade 10 civics project - Invasive species identification and clean-up 
  • Grade 10 civics project - Campus naming, labeling, and sign-posting 
  • Grade 10 civics project - Reviving gardens and courtyards 


Grade 10 Outdoor Civic Action Projects

Grade 7 picking up litter for the Earth Day clean-up!

MTRS students creating a pollinator garden