The DLC and town of Davidson are thrilled to work hand-in-hand with 4th grade students at the Davidson K8 school to restore the trails, remove invasive species, plant native tree species, and create outdoor classroom space behind the school. The stream in that area was recently restored with materials to prevent further erosion and encourage a healthy creek ecosystem. The intense erosion occurred very quickly due to runoff from paved areas and overburdened storm drainage systems. Over the past two weeks, students have been analyzing soil profiles during science lab in order to understand that soil is a complex system of organic matter and minerals. It provides the foundation for a healthy forest. Students have also identified invasive plant species, which will be eradicated from the woods later this winter to provide space for native species to fill back in. With the return of plants that are adapted to life in North Carolina, animals will have a more balanced variety of habitats and food sources. Later this year, students will help design outdoor classroom spaces. On average, children are spending only minutes a day outside. According to a recent article in the journal Ecologist, a study commissioned by the Wildlife Trusts concludes that children who spend significant time in nature have increased confidence and greater willingness to try new things. We’re thrilled to be a part of creating this natural space for teachers and students to utilize.

Thanks to our many partners on this project:

Town of Davidson (Doug Wright and Charlene Minor)

Davidson K8 (Chuck Fortuna, Janet James, and 4th graders)

Mecklenburg County Soil and Water Conservation District (Leslie Herik Vanden)

ViZ, PLLC (Gary Fankhauser)

Students collecting soil profiles

Fourth graders collected soil profiles