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Scout constructs outdoor classroom

BOARDMAN — A passion for the outdoors inspired township Boy Scout Bryson Harris, 18, to build a classroom in the woods at Stadium Drive Elementary School this month.

He used the project to earn his Eagle Award.

He is the son of Brice and Christine Harris.

“This project will allow all the teachers at the school the opportunity to teach in an outdoor setting, on school grounds and provide outdoor experiences and learning for all students in the school,” Christine said.

Bryson spent his elementary school years at Stadium Drive, and he was aware of the wooded area that is part of the school property. During those years he was a Cub Scout with Boardman Troop 46. He moved up to Boy Scouts at age 13.

Adding to the fit, his parents are educators and have degrees in biology. Bryson will be attending the University of Toledo, where he will be studying environmental engineering.

“So this project was a perfect fit,” Bryson said.

The project included the construction of a table and five benches and mulching a trail leading to the spot where the items were set up. Bryson had to dig a foot to place the bench and table legs so they would offer firm seating.

“My dad and I worked on this for a long time, figuring design and costs,” Bryson said. “It was completely paid for by the school’s PTA. The materials were purchased, and the benches were put together at my house. Then they were moved to the school property and assembled.”

The newly finished outdoor classroom can be used by any of the classes at Stadium Drive.

“It is our hope to use the project as a way to encourage children to investigate and appreciate nature,” the school’s Principal Michael Zoccali said. “We are grateful for the volunteer work that we have received over the years and hope to continue working with individuals in our community.”

“It was a relief to get it done,” Bryson said. “It was something I never did before, so it felt strange to claim it and say I did that.”

He said the project goes along with what he wants out of life. He hopes to get into the environmental area that assists companies with being environmentally friendly and aware. Even while he is at college, he said he plans to visit the outdoor classroom from time to time.

jtwhitehouse@tribtoday.com

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