Girl Scout Restores Opstad Outdoor Classroom for Gold Award Project
Mount Si High School Senior Emma Schuerman, who is working toward her GOLD Award for Girl Scouts, chose Opstad Elementary to benefit from her culminating community service project. Emma’s project was to make the school’s Outdoor Classroom area useable again.
The Outdoor Classroom is located in a wooded area, adjacent to Opstad’s back parking lot and playground. Before Emma began this project, trails were rough and overgrown, many dead/dying trees near the path presented a safety concern, and seating had crumbled and rotted away.
Emma’s restoration efforts included laying new ground cloth for the paths, adding chips and mulch on the paths, and contacting several tree service companies for assistance. Devoted Tree Solutions from Snoqualmie donated their time and services to take down 10+ dead trees to make it safe to be out there. Emma also created lessons about invasive and native plants on the site for teachers to use, hung birdhouses and a bat house to create interest/interactive activities for kids, and put in new seating (tree rounds) at two meeting areas along the trail. And, she organized work parties where volunteers focused on the mitigation of invasive plants, removing ivy from tree trunks to help the trees thrive.
At Opstad Elementary’s Meet Your Teacher event on August 31, Emma officially presented the restored area – inviting to students and parents to explore the trails, providing maps for self-guided tours, and answering questions. She also had a sign-up sheet for volunteers to help maintain the area.
The GOLD Award is the highest honor and rank a person can earn in Girl Scouts, similar to the Eagle Scout rank in Boy Scouts. This was the last step in Emma journey toward this significant accomplishment. See photos below. Congratulations Emma, and thank you for improving this area for future Opstad families!