Keep America Beautiful recognizes AHS outdoor classroom
by Staff Report
Jul 14, 2013 | 1220 views | 0 0 comments | 37 37 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Last month, Keep America Beautiful reached out to their Bartow County affiliate to see what all the buzz was about at Adairsville High School.

The recognition from KAB came in form of a blog post by Brand Development Senior Manager Corinn Rotter celebrating National Pollinator Week and the work done at the AHS outdoor classroom, which now includes bee hives for environmental and educational benefit.

“In Cartersville, Ga., Adairsville High School has built a five-acre outdoor classroom and works with a beekeeper who houses several hives in a fenced in area of the garden,” states the article by Rotter on www.blog.kab.org. “Multiple partners, including Keep Bartow Beautiful, are collaborating with AHS to ensure the success and sustainability of the area. The classroom, which is located behind the local high school, was built by the environmental science, construction, and the special education classes for use by Bartow County school students grades K-12. It contains an outdoor amphitheater, both raised bed and field planting areas and solar panels. It also contains a wind turbine that powers a well for pumping water to the garden and plant areas, as well as for operation of a simulated gold-panning operation, nature trails and bird-feeding stations.

“The bee hive is a recent addition, and education programs are being developed. The future expansion of this project will establish a honeybee colony to provide models for studies of pollination, genetics, and entomology. The designated wildflower and flower garden areas will serve as excellent places for the pollinators to inhabit.”

National Pollinator Week began in 2007 as a way to raise awareness for declining bee populations across the country. Although a specific cause has not been determined, the population decline has been attributed primarily to a combination of factors, including disease, loss of habitat and pesticide use.

The national awareness event, however, aims to promote the health and welfare of all pollinators, which includes bees, birds, bats and ants.

KBB and Bartow County Environmental Programs Director Sheri Henshaw have worked with AHS on various projects outside of the outside classroom. Henshaw commended AHS faculty, staff and students on their work in areas of environmental science and volunteer cleanup efforts.

“The results are impressive for one high school,” Henshaw said in an email to The Daily Tribune News. “In addition to the outdoor classroom, which provides ongoing outdoor education throughout the school year for area students of all ages, Adairsville High students, staff, and community partners and parents recycled 10,140 pounds of cans, bottles, cardboard and mixed paper, or 10.7 pounds per student. The 79 Adairsville High ROTC students in one day, April 25, cleaned 3.2 miles of roadway — removing 2,000 pounds of litter.”