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Eisenhower High School Outdoor Wildlife Learning S

By: EHSecology

Eisenhower High School Goals :

The goals are to develop features on the Eisenhower High School Outdoor Wildlife Learning Site (EHS OWLS) which will:

  1. Help students appreciate native ecosystems (e.g. short, mixed and tall grass prairie) by developing a native prairie demonstration/interpretive gardens of short/mixed/tall prairie grasses and forbs in raised flower beds adjacent to the high school’s green house as the gateway to the on-campus OWLS area.
  2. Increase an appreciation of wildlife through environmental literacy curriculum.
  3. Develop a new outdoor wildlife learning site habitat including trees, fruit bearing trees/bushes/vines and a 600 square foot pond to attract wildlife for study purposes by our students and community members.
  4. Develop a greater understanding of the dependency of wildlife on specific habitat development.
  5. Encourage the protection and/or restoring of habitat to increase wildlife.


The outdoor wildlife learning site has provided educational opportunities for a variety of subjects including

    • Life Science: Identifying plants & animals, aquatic studies, studying living communities, ecological systems, & monitoring change.
    • Earth Science: Studying soil characteristics, hydrologic cycles, & properties of water.
    • Physical Science: Applying concepts related to weather, climate, and seasonal patterns.
    • Mathematics:  Tallying species, mapping of site, graphing growth of vegetation, interpreting data.
    • Language Arts:  Developing a written plan, making oral reports, writing newspaper & newsletter articles, communication with diverse groups.
    • Social Studies: Identifying historical uses of site, engaging in political process, working cooperatively with others.
    • Art: Developing site maps & illustrations, drawing natural objects, creating art projects for EHS OWLS area (art on the prairie).
    • Industrial Arts:  Applying appropriate technology in land use projects.

Site Location and Features

  • The Eisenhower High School OWLS is located north of the intersection of West Kellogg and 167th Street South—1230 S. 167th Street West, Goddard, KS 67052; the OWLS area is on the southern side of the school and the southeast corner of the property. 
  • Food:  native plant species will be established to fulfill the food requirement—including but not limited to sumac, berry vines, Illinois Bundle Flower.
  • Shelter:  A fence row of trees established prior to the building of the high school exists at the south east side of the property.  New tree plantings have been established along the perimeter of the OWLS area.  Additional shrub plantings, bird houses, nest boxes, bat boxes will be established as funds are available.  A “leaf wall” will be constructed to provide habitat.
  • Compost bins with interpretive signage have been located outside the greenhouse.


Wildlife Resource Center Location:

  • Classroom 124 and Science Storage Room—Curricular material, management tools, lab and sampling equipment
  • Eisenhower High School Library—reference material
  • Denise Scribner, science teacher--trained in Project WILD, Project WET, Project Wet Aquatic, Project WET Urban, Project Learning Tree,   Leopold Project and EPS.  Resources for each are located in classroom.


Site Use

The site will be used and maintained by Eisenhower High School students.  Biology, Ecology and Life Science students will utilize the site for science research and outdoor classroom labs; art, social studies and English classes utilized the site for classroom activities.  Students from three schools immediately adjacent to the high school (Apollo and Explorer Elementary and Eisenhower Middle School) have immediate adjacent access to the site while other schools within the district have bus access.  The Eisenhower High School ecology class students will be available as guides for other schools.  During the evenings, weekends and summers, community individuals, the public, and groups have access to the site.


In-Service Training Program

The Eisenhower High School OWLS will work to become a current certified site.  Denise Scribner, facilitator of the site, is a trained facilitator in Project WET, Project WET Aquatic, Project WILD, Project Learning Tree, the Leopold Project and EPS (Earth Partnership for Schools) Prairie Restoration Institute.


Site Development Schedule---all work to be completed by the ecology and biology students of Eisenhower High School

 PHASE I –2011-2012 Establish new OWLS area---completed

  1.  Pond development--completed

A drainage basin for the school campus (south east corner) has already been developed on the grounds of the new school campus north of Kellogg.  The pond is currently collecting water functioning as a vernal pond  until full development takes place within the next 3 to 5 years.  The pond is already attracting migrating water fowl.

  1.  Development of raised xeriscape garden beds to showcase native prairie forbs and attract migrating butterflies and wildlife.--completed

3.   Habitat---Blue Bird, Chickadee and Purple Martin house placement--completed

  1.  Resources

An Eisenhower High School OWLS User Guide for teachers K-12 to use prior, during and post visitation is under development outlining the culturally significant plants contained in our gardens and wildlife area.  This resource will be made available to anyone visiting the site.

  1.  Compost bins and interpretive signage.--completed

Two compost bins will be placed immediately outside the greenhouse.  Interpretive signage on how compost is informed and why it is important will be placed adjacent to the compost bins for public viewing and sharing of information.

  1.  Shaded outdoor classroom constructed by Westar Energy Green Team --in process

Eisenhower High School will establish an 18’x 20’ cement pad; Westar Green Team will build an outdoor classroom shelter using recycled wood southeast of the high school building as the gateway area to the native grasses section of the on-campus OWLS area.


PHASE II – 2012-2013 Native Grasses and Nature Trail--in process

  1. Overseeing disturbed ground due to building projects to establish a native grasses area--completed

The disturbed ground resulting from building projects will be reseeded with native grasses and forbs to promote natural growth (Detention Basin Mix from Prairie Moon Nursery).

  1. B.      Establish a nature trail for the OWLS area.--in process  

The trail will depart from the greenhouse and traverse along the property boundary berm to the aquatics pond connecting the greenhouse and outdoor classroom space with the native spaces contained with the on-campus OWLS area.  Trail markers will be placed to highlight environmentally significant information.

  1.  Tree/bush/vine plantings—spring 2012.--completed


PHASE III—Aquatics Studies Pond Floating Dock System 2012-2015

Once the pond has filled to capacity (approximately 3-5 years) a floating dock system will be installed so that students can extensively use the area for aquatic studies.

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