The following are the archived main articles from the 2011 issues Heartland Outdoor School’s newsletter, Nature Notes:
This spring many of our classes are undergoing exciting changes to create a greater experience for our students. Two of our classes which are being given a makeover are Geology and Native American.
This spring our geology class has moved outside. Students will get a chance to hike the Shale Ridge Trail to view some of the unique cliffs and ravines of Heartland. The geological landscape of Heartland includes many amazing features such as: glacial erosion, exposed bedrock, iron oxides draining through the shale layers, and the spectacular effects of geology on the natural landscapes. The students will get a chance to see how the effects of erosion alter the landscape, collect rock samples, and discover the impact of the forces of geology in a firsthand way.
The Native American Life class has been given a complete facelift to increase the hands-on experience. The students will get a chance to experience economics within a trade system, Native American sign language, pictograph reading, fire building, trapping, hunting implements, and enjoy the atmosphere of our new outside classroom (weather permitting).
We are always seeking new and innovative ways to introduce the outdoors to today’s youth. Keep an eye out for each new issue of Nature Notes to keep up to date with the latest developments in Heartland’s Outdoor Education program.
New Sights at Heartland
This fall season marks the debut of several new Heartland experiences including our pond and our new trail systems.
For many years it has been the dream of the staff at Heartland to have a pond for our guests to enjoy. That dream has now come to fruition with our one acre pond located in the field near the basketball courts. The pond has a 700 foot gravel walkway going around it as well as a beautiful waterfall, new landscaping, and a footbridge. There are future plans to further extend the landscaping into a park, pavilion meeting area, and a possible location for a future nature center.
This summer our staff have been working tirelessly to complete three beautiful new trails that are part of a plan to have a trail system allowing a guest to walk the full perimeter of our property (a trek that could be as long as three miles!). Along these new trails you can see a variety of landscapes, ecosystems, secluded bridges, and new treasures around every turn. Two of the trails can be accessed from behind the dorms and the third is on our new property north of the living history village.