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Trail work continues at HWES

Trail work continues at HWES
Trail work continues at HWES
Shane Gibson of Sycamore Land Trust helps students in the Corydon Central National Honor Society and other community members place mulch to protect the trail in the woods by Heth-Washington Elementary School. Photo by Kaitlyn Clay
Kaitlyn Clay, Staff Writer, [email protected]

Teachers at Heth-Washington Elementary School are used to advising students to not get near the woods when playing outside. However, the school is working to change that advice from “don’t go into the woods” to “go into the woods.”

Members of the Corydon Central High School’s National Honor Society and residents of the community met Saturday morning to help spread mulch over the walking trail, which also includes outdoor classroom spaces and seating areas.

Shane Gibson, the environmental education director at Sycamore Land Trust, a non-profit organization, has been working with HWES for the past three years on this project.

Since its inception in 1990, Sycamore Land Trust has protected more than 10,000 acres of land in 26 of Indiana’s 92 counties.

Working with the administration at the school, Gibson and others at the land trust drafted up a layout of all the possibilities for outdoor trails, benches and learning environments.

“This past year, we have really been focused on clearing this land and finishing up our trail spaces here at Heth-Washington,” Gibson said. “It has been such a collective effort with the community, and I feel like we are really getting an amazing outdoor learning environment for the students here.

“With COVID-19 going on, having the kids be outside more is something everyone is advising, so I am glad this will be able to help with that,” he said.

Sue Lanham, principal at Heth-Washington, said this project is something she believes will really benefit the students. From teachers being able to take a class outside to read books to observing nature for science classes, there are endless possibilities for the use of the trail.

“I cannot wait for our students to see this,” Lanham said. “They haven’t been able to go out to see what it looks like yet, so we are hoping to do a dedication and open it soon so our students and community will be able to really make use and enjoy it.

“I am so excited and so thankful for everyone who has helped out,” she said.