Back to the Boardwalk
Heights Elementary expands hands-on learning to the outdoors
The 2017-2018 school year has brought about the completion of phase one of the “Slough Restoration Project” led by the Heights Elementary School Parent Teacher Association. The project began when the previous principal, Diane Salko, and the PTA board decided to use donations from the annual school auction to restore the boardwalk located on wetlands parallel to the school.
Many years ago, the boardwalk had been used by classrooms to observe the wetlands. The PTA is excited about the restoration project because pupils are now able to return to the wetlands area to again experience hands-on learning in the outdoors.
PTA member Michelle Mahaney explains, “The idea of restoring the slough began almost four years ago. It has been an ongoing process of raising and saving money. It gives the children a unique opportunity to learn about Southwest Florida’s ecosystem while working together as a community.”
With the support of the current principal, Doug Palow, and the help of Matt Horton of Ensite Design, Brent Stokes of Stokes Marine and general contractor Steve Shimp, the first section of the boardwalk was completed last fall.
The PTA is again raising funds so the next phase can begin. Phase two’s plans include a shell path, planter boxes, 220 additional feet of boardwalk, an outdoor classroom area and an amphitheater.
For more information about this ongoing project, visit heightspta.org. To find out ways to support the effort, email HeightsElemPTA@gmail.com.