Wood Middle School Teacher Aims to Create Outdoor Classroom

Marci Nettles via GoFundMe -- A sixth-grade Wood Middle School teacher created a GoFundMe to raise money for an outdoor garden classroom.

Wood Middle School Teacher Aims to Create Outdoor Classroom

Wood Middle School (WMS) teacher Marci Nettles created a GoFundMe page to raise money for an outdoor classroom within WMS’ garden space.

Nettles, who teaches sixth grade General Science and Environmental Science, said kids need outdoor classroom spaces to help them engage with and understand their local environment and our changing planet. She and her students have worked hard to support the plants and other organisms that grow in the garden space.

“Students thrive in outdoor settings where they can build resilience, appropriate risk-taking skills, and creative problem-solving skills,” wrote Nettles on her GoFundMe listing. “Being out in nature also helps students balance their emotional and mental health.”

Nettles said she and her students planted more than two dozen native milkweed plants to help the monarch butterfly populations at the school. She wants to add other native plants to continue helping the monarch butterflies and other pollinators that rely on the garden. Her class also grew kale, tomatoes, squash, green beans, and strawberries.

The garden was funded by Nettles and PTA donations over the last three years. Now, she is soliciting donations to fund her project.

“Over my years of teaching, I have donated thousands of dollars to my classroom and students, and I think that's pretty normal for most teachers,” stated Nettles, who is entering her 28th year of teaching. “We want the best for our students.”

Nettles is seeking $15,000. As of Thursday, Aug. 11, her page has raised $1,150. With the money Nettles will purchase: four metal industrial strength picnic tables with umbrellas for $6,300, 16 Polywood Adirondack chairs for $6,200, a storage shed for $500, and a drip irrigation system for $350. She will also purchase gardening maintenance materials such as: mulch, organic compost soil, tools, gloves, native plants for $1,000; and a 60-foot reed privacy fence for $650. The fence will hang along a side of the garden adjacent to a parking lot.

To donate or to view Nettles’ GoFundMe, visit https://tinyurl.com/ysbjpa2b.