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Lansing Middle School Sixth-Graders Revitalize Lansing Central School District Nature Area

Just in time for the summer months, the Lansing Central School Nature Area has officially reopened to the public.

With the sun peeking through the leaves and a cool breeze blowing through the air, a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the revitalization of the LCSD Nature Area took place on Tuesday, June 20. The ceremony also commemorated the hard work of the sixth grade students from Lansing Middle School. The students helped make the revitalization of the LCSD Nature Area possible,identifying ways to improve on the area and cleaning it up over the last few weeks.

The idea for the project first came about in February, when the LMS sixth grade team of teachers decided to take on a cross-curricular project. From here, the team identified the LCSD Nature Area as a project for the LMS sixth-graders to tackle.

In early May, Superintendent Chris Pettograsso met with all 93 sixth-graders to present them with the task of revitalizing the LCSD Nature Area. Pettograsso stated that the area had been neglected and underused, asking students to identify problems and possibilities. From here, the students surveyed all LCSD staff to determine their knowledge of, use of, or potential use of the area.

Divide and Conquer
Following the survey, students were placed into six focus groups according to their interests – Public Relations/Techies, Outdoor Educators, Safety Patrol, Bridge Brigade, Field Guiders, and Trail Blazers. Each of these groups worked on a different aspect of the project, preparing to address the problems identified. Representatives from each group came together each week for a liaison meeting to assess and update each other on their progress. At the beginning of June, all 93 students from the sixth grade met again, with each group doing a presentation about their progress and plans. Following this meeting, they quickly got to work.

All Hands on Deck
During the week of June 12, the work began. All sixth grade students worked together to accomplish the wide variety of tasks needed to help make their plans bloom to life. Taking full advantage of the sunny weather, students quickly got to work, transforming the space in an impressive two weeks. The students the space completely. Within the two weeks students took part in wood burning, staining and refinishing benches, trail clearing, painting, bridge building, mulching, and so much more.

“We are so proud of their progress,” said Karen Cole, one of the organizers of the project. “They really did a great job.”

The Ribbon Cutting
The hard work put into the center shows with each step taken on the trail through the area. At the ribbon cutting ceremony on June 20, Pettograsso acknowledged the efforts of the students, thanking them for all of their hard work.

 “Thank you so much for taking this project on,” said Pettograsso. “You’ve added so much to our district through your work and your efforts.”

Pettograsso also acknowledged the efforts taken by the LMS sixth grade team to make this vision a reality.

“It was really the sixth grade team that got this moving,” said Pettograsso. “They worked closely with the administration to start this project and really helped it stay on track.”

In addition to the sixth grade students and teachers, many others helped to make the LCSD Nature Area revitalization effort a reality. Thank you to the Lansing PTSO, the sixth grade families, the dedicated volunteers, Mr. Bob Beck, Glenn Fenner and the LCSD grounds crew, Mike Moseley and the Town of Lansing Highway Department, and the Plantsmen Nursery for offering their generous support and helping to make this possible.
The LCSD Nature Area is located behind Lansing High School and is open to the public.