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Norwalk Magnet School Celebrating Grant To Develop Schoolyard Habitat

A previous Schoolyard Habitat program event at Columbus Magnet School in Norwalk. Now, Norwalk's Columbus Magnet School is celebrating the implementation of the Greenwich Audubon Grant to further develop its schoolyard habitat.
A previous Schoolyard Habitat program event at Columbus Magnet School in Norwalk. Now, Norwalk's Columbus Magnet School is celebrating the implementation of the Greenwich Audubon Grant to further develop its schoolyard habitat. Photo Credit: Contributed

NORWALK, Conn. -- Norwalk's Columbus Magnet School is celebrating the implementation of a Greenwich Audubon Grant to further develop its schoolyard habitat.

The event will take place from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at the school, 46 Concord St.

It has been a collaborative effort, involving cleanup and planting native plants. The teachers have been training with the Audubon all year long and now can administer a class outdoors.

The Columbus Magnet School has been chosen as a 2015-16 partner school in the Schoolyard Habitat program and will work with staff from Audubon Connecticut and Audubon Greenwich in creating native habitat to support migratory songbirds and an outdoor classroom.

The grant also offers teacher training to conduct common core, inquiry-based instruction outside. Integrating the curriculum into an outdoor learning experience has proven to increase test scores and improves mental and physical health.

The habitat is in the playground behind Columbus Magnet School, which is also the location of the Rosa Parks Arboretum.

Audubon, in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other partners, work statewide on restoring wildlife habitat in schools, parks and other open space for migrating birds and other wildlife.

The habitat at Columbus Magnet will join a network of habitats across Connecticut that provide habitat for migrating songbirds and other wildlife, improve human and watershed health, revitalize neighborhoods, increase knowledge about Long Island Sound and engage communities in conservation action.

Also as part of the grant, Columbus Magnet School will work with Yale Peabody Museum on interpretive sign for their habitat and outdoor classroom.

The grant making all of this work possible includes support from the Disney Conservation Fund, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration program, the Long Island Sound Futures Fund, the Tools for Life Foundation and the 1830 Foundation.

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