Dickson Elementary School
Kingsport, Tennessee : History and Students Remember

Long long time ago in a time not so far away....
Dickson Elementary School : Kingsport Tennessee



Dickson Elementary Nature Learning Center


Nature Learning Center

Dickson Elementary School Nature Learning Center
Nature Learning Center

Dickson Elementary School Nature Learning Center
Nature Learning Center
DICKSON ELEMENTARY : Outdoor Learning Center being updated...


In 1970-1971, the wooded ravine behind the building was transformed into an environmental lab. This was a P.T.A. sponsored project. Bennie Pierce, PTA President at the time, kept the ball raolling. The ravine's being too steep to accommodate the Battle of Long Island Flats made construction of a four foot wide nature trail quite a challenge. But the city Naturalist, Ron Childress, mapped it out. Forty-nine persons, including the Naturalist, Mr. Pierce, teachers, students and parents, responded to the call for action on a Saturday morning in the fall of 1970.
The trail was raked out, steps were made from logs, and water was diverted.
Two more Saturday mornings' work in that autumn made the trail complete. Even small children helped by carrying buckets of sawdust and shavings donated by Jim Cantley, a parent. In the early spring, a council ring was built of logs set in concrete. At the bottom of the hill in a flat spot beside the stream, a second outdoor classroom was provided by Maintenance Supervisor Robert Goad and his helpers. Two eight-foot tables with benches were constructed of metal and concrete. These tables were also used as a recreational facility.
The local newspaper ran several articles and pictures including one at year's end on the "Major Events of the Year." At the request of the Board of Education, a delegation presented an oral report, including slides, at one of its monthly meetings.
A schedule for the use of facilities in the park was posted in the teachers' workroom. Students, having worked side by side with their Dad, their teacher and fellow students, truly felt that this was their learning center. Those work sessions created special fellowship as did the coffee breaks with ham biscuits, cookies, coffee and hot chocolate. A rhododendron plant was donated by a nursery across town.
Boy Scout groups shared bird houses and bird feeders they had made. One aspiring Eagle Scout, Bob Brogden, spent time alone in maintenance of the park as a project for his badge requirement. he also recruited his brother, Russ, and other scouts to help. Other community members provided plants and tress not already in the park. A guide for trees and flower was maintained.

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©2011 Begin March 3, 2011