Thursday, May 1, 2014, Pat Knigten of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission visited Sloan Hendrix Schools with a very special gift. A check for $3400 awarded for the beginning of a schoolyard habitat, trail and outdoor class area. “You have something that most schools don’t have and that’s the woods to develop,” said Mrs. Knighten. Mrs. Knighten is talking about the woods located northwest of the elementary school buildings. Mrs. Knighten also stated, “You have the chance to make this the area that all schools looking to have a schoolyard habitat, will say,well, have you gone to Sloan Hendrix and seen theirs?”

Included at the presentation, were Kathy Lester, representing the Girl Scouts, Nikki Cooper, Boy Scouts, and Mrs. McFadden from the Five Rivers Master Gardeners Club. All of these organizations, as well as, school groups, school classes, other community organizations and volunteers will be needed to make this a reality.

It will take an estimated free labor force of $15,000. For example, the Girl Scouts will be in charge of a gourd trellis. Scouts will grow and raise gourds to be painted and decorated and then used as bird houses in the habitat. Boy Scouts will have special projects, such as one possible Eagle scout prospect is thinking of making an amphitheatre from wood. Of course, the Master Gardeners will aid with where to plant and how to plant the several hundred flowers/bushes.

The habitat will include a small water feature just big enough for birds and small animals to secure water. Also, project coordinator, Deanna Adams, hopes that the two S.M.A.R.T.S. Hawk Eye Cam’s will be able to be used in the habitat for students to watch what is going on in the habitat from their classroom, even if they can’t go outside, such as due to weather. Also included in the grant is a tool shed to put the many items that gardeners big and small will need for such an adventure.

Sloan Hendrix is encouraging the community to become involved. Once the trail is made, there will be opportunities for classrooms, businesses and organizations to “adopt” a path. This would be similar to Adopt a Hwy but it would be a certain number of feet in the trail or maybe a curve and think of a unique name for your area to upkeep. Examples, could be ______(business name)Cardinal Cove, or _________Butterfly Village, ____________Hummingbird Holler, just for ideas. The school will also be taking donations of bird seed, peanut butter, bird houses, gourds, clay pots (even if broken), flower seeds, mulch, cedar lumber, gourd seeds, and gloves.

You can donate any items by dropping them by the administration office or calling 870-869-2101 ext.230 or email dadams@Sloan-Hendrix.com for more information.

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