If you walk behind the Davidson K-8 school, you may notice a new outdoor classroom and sensory garden in the woods. This is due to the thoughtful planning and detailed project execution of Ella Landman, a sophomore at Lake Norman Charter High School. Ella recently completed this project for her Girl Scout Gold Award, in collaboration with Davidson Lands Conservancy.

Ella explains the goal of her project is to help improve students’ mental health along with spreading awareness of kids and teens struggling with mental health issues.  

She worked in partnership with DLC in planning an outdoor classroom that would fit their needs as well as students. She led multiple groups of volunteers with the construction of the classroom and sensory garden, using materials consisting of pressure-treated wood, pots, pans, used tires, and pavers. 

The area now includes a teacher’s desk with 10 benches (enough seating for about 30 students), a music wall, hopscotch, tic-tac-toe, a chess board, and garden planters. Ellas spent approximately 100 hours on this project and secured over $3,000 in donations to cover the expenses.  Congratulations Ella!