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Making the Local Habitat a Classroom

Fourth-grade students at the Country Day School are taking their learning outside the classroom and exploring environmental stewardship, participating in a habitat restoration project in collaboration with the Audubon Society at Beechwood Farms Nature Preserve. 

Under the guidance of Fourth Grade Teacher Justin Rebitch, the project spans the academic year, with students dedicating one day each month to actively engage in restoring the local habitat. Now in its second year, the program covers a broad spectrum of environmental topics, including the study of invasive species, bird species identification, and the overarching impacts of human activity on ecosystems.

Throughout the project, students have participated in a variety of hands-on activities designed to immerse them in ecological restoration. Efforts include removing invasive plant species, planting trees, and harvesting seeds to create "seed bombs"—all aimed at revitalizing the local flora and fauna. Additionally, the project incorporates bird-watching activities and the production of biochar, a form of charcoal used to improve soil health, further contributing to the environmental restoration efforts.

This initiative not only enhances students' understanding of the natural world but also instills a sense of responsibility and stewardship for the environment. By engaging in real-world learning experiences, Shady Side Academy students are equipped with the knowledge and skills to make a positive impact on the natural world around them.

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