The staff and students of West Homer Elementary school extend a heartfelt thank you to all the volunteers and organizations that helped complete the final phase of our nature trail this year. Our schoolyard habitat, named by students, “Path of the Wild,” was made possible by a grant from Fish and Wildlife and Homer Soil and Water. This grant has supported improvements over the past three years. With our trail and boardwalks established two years ago, this year we were able to create an outdoor classroom with the volunteer efforts and donations from the following individuals and businesses:
• Matt Hanson (picnic table builder extraordinaire);
• Spenard and BST Milling (donators of lumber and hardware);
• Duncan Partridge, along with Boy Scout Troop 555 (designer and builder of trailhead sign as well as the students who cemented in our metal moose station markers, which were made by students in Mickey Todd’s welding class);
• Kevin Dee (creator of wood engraved sign designed by our student council that hangs over our trailhead sign);
• Cheryl Ilg (designer of self-guided tour brochure researched and written by fifth grade students);
• Local biologists, Mitch Michaud, Kim McNett, Matt Steffy and Phil Barber (consultants for fourth grade students who photographed and researched various plants on the trail and created Plant ID cards); and
• Bill Worsfold (bird house designer and builder).
In addition, Flex students are helping WHE students build an exercise circuit along the trail.
On April 21, during WHE’s 1st Science Palooza, scientists from four different organizations facilitated activities along our trail. These agencies included Fish and Wildlife (Kendra Bush-St. Louis and Georgia Lucas), Homer Soil and Water (Matt Steffy, Stephanie Schmit, Phil Barber and Tara Schmidt), Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies (Caitlin Lenehan), and the Kachemak Bay Research Reserve (Dana Nelson). We are incredibly lucky to live in a community that values outdoor education and stewardship. Thank you to the many people who so willingly donated time, expertise, and funds.
Retired West Homer Elementary School
teacher and trail liaison