During the 2014-15 school year the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Walton School, Esperanza, and Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society (WCAS) joined as partners on a grant to establish a Zoo Nature Club at Walton School in Cleveland.
During the 2014-15 school year the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Walton School, Esperanza, Inc., and Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society (WCAS) joined as partners on a grant to establish a Zoo Nature Club at Walton School in Cleveland. The grant was sponsored by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums with support from the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund.
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The goal of the Zoo Nature Club was to connect local families with nature and highlight the benefits of nature play. As part of this activity, Western Cuyahoga Audubon led a schoolyard beautification effort where families participating in the Zoo Nature Club joined Western Cuyahoga Audubon volunteers and Walton school staff to clean up the school courtyard and plant native plants and annuals. Twenty-five volunteers met first to clean up the courtyard then to plant more than 175 plants and spread 150 bags of mulch on the finished gardens.
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Although the Zoo Nature Club moved on to a different school for the 2015-16 school year, Western Cuyahoga Audubon volunteers returned to Walton School earlier this month to spruce up the garden planted the previous spring. Many of the natives and perennials survived and thrived but the gardens were in need of some TLC.
The Western Cuyahoga Audubon volunteers were joined by members of the Walton School Boys and Girls Club and staff from Walton School to clean up the courtyard, weed the beds, plant additional native plants and annual flowers to accent the garden. This year’s effort involved about 20 volunteers, 120 plants, and 75 bags of mulch. After the session, volunteers were treated to a pizza dinner with cookies for dessert!
The staff at Walton School is hoping to use the courtyard for more activities. In fact, a few days after the cleanup, the newly refurbished gardens were scheduled to be the the site for a school-year-end summer reading event!
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