An elementary school in Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh is among only 10 schools across Canada to make it to the finals of an environmental landscape contest aimed at creating an outdoor classroom.
Students at Brookside Public School had already started planning their outdoor classroom last June -- several months before the contest sponsored by consumer paper producer Majesta began.
Brookside Principal Julie Holmes says there's a lot on the line in the contest.
The winner receives 20-thousand dollar outdoor classroom which includes landscaping and arbourist services, as well as plant seeding.
Holmes says Brookside is very much a rural David among mainly urban Goliaths.
She points out many of the other nine finalists are located in large urban areas including Ottawa, Halifax and Edmonton -- all of whose schools have much larger enrolments than the 197 children who attend Brookside.
Holmes mentions the Grade 6 and 7 class explored the outdoor classroom concept early.
She says they met with a landscape architect just before the end of the last school year and spent much of the winter plotting out various factors that would make an outdoor classroom work.
Many took advantage of the fine weather during the winter months to move rocks and soil in preparation for the final phase of work.
Holmes is appealing for as large a vote as possible for the Brookside project.
On-line voting runs until May 11th and the winner will be announced on May 17th.
You can vote for the Brookside project once a day at www.majesta.com -- there's also a link to the site through a story and video about the project posted on the Avon-Maitland District School Board site www.amdsb.ca