In Focus: Horace May Elementary in Bemidji Displays New Nature Mural
Horace May Elementary School had quite a bit of help this past winter of 2020 to place a 500-square foot mural that depicts various aspects of their outdoor classroom. This project was an artistic way to expand the small map that was once displayed on the wall previously.
Kate Pearson, second grade teacher at Horace May Elementary, says that this was a project that had expanded, and that many members of the community had contributed to make this happen. These members included Pearson herself, along with a project consultant, MN DNR consultant, Ojibwe language consultants, materials installation experts, and graphic designers. But funding has also been a big part of this project.
With the school being a certified Minnesota School Forest, it holds 50 acres of land that was acquired by Ted and Teckla Fenske back in 1971. When the school had opened in 1972, the sixth grade students and staff established the first nature trail. The school grounds has a reflection of the four ecological provinces of the state.
The MN School Forest Program was established in 1949, which allowed Minnesota to designate state land as school forests to be used for environmental and outdoor education. The goal for the program is to connect students with the outdoor environment around their school.