Bryant Natural Wonders Courtyard

Bryant Middle School

April 15, 2018
by Mary Elaswad
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My, it’s unexpectedly cold outside!

Not only has it been unexpectedly cold outside, but Bryant school and many of the residences in the community have been without power.

If you’re wondering why the weather has been so icy when it should be spring, Dale Eck from the Global Forecast Center at the Weather Channel offers an explanation:

 

After last Friday’s wonderful warm up, Michigan is experiencing a strong storm (blizzard) coming out of the Rockies, over the Northern Plains and Great Lakes, bringing more cold weather for the week ahead.  Combined with last week’s Canadian just streams ‘dislodging the cold air from the poles”, Michigan spring seems to be on hold and Courtyard activities temporarily ‘put on ice’!

sign of Natural Wonders and Courtyard

As the state of Courtyard is being assessed, Ruth Tozzi reported that one of the white pine trees had to be removed.  According to Mrs. Tozzi, “the pine tree disease that caused it’s demise, is “rust” spore.  It starts at the end of the branch and works it’s way through the tree.” For more information about this particular problem see the following site:

https://www.fs.fed.us/rm/highelevationwhitepines/Threats/blister-rust-threat.htm

 

We’re glad to say that one white pine still stands!

white pine in Courtyard

~ The Courtyard Committee

March 29, 2018
by Mary Elaswad
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Getting Underway

So much more happens in the Courtyard in spring!

Teachers are scheduling their classes for Courtyard time via the “Courtyard Usage Schedule” provided by Mrs.  Mark.

This week, Mrs. Doner’s 8th grade enrichment class got to work! The Courtyard looks markedly different since they were out there raking and cleaning in and around the pond and pea gravel.  The students are eager to be outside and are asking when they can come out with their class!   Thank you for your enthusiasm and hard work!

         

 

Mr. Brown’s Algebra 1 students were in the Courtyard measuring an undeveloped area. This wasn’t as easy as it sounds when you consider you need to subtract the circumference of the tree and also subtract the area of a rectangular grate. Six groups of students took measurements. I wonder if they all got the same results?

 

                  

        

 

Mrs. Tozzi, the person responsible for changing the courtyard area from a jumbled mess to the manicured area that it is today, has been awarded a sum of money from the PTA for supplies.  There are plans for adding pea gravel to the area around the pond, wood chips around the trees and bulbs for flowers in the central garden.

Mrs. Tozzi feels strongly about keeping the overgrown area of the Courtyard in its more natural state. She has multiple reasons for this including attracting more wildlife and making science lessons more readily available.

To encourage classroom use of the Courtyard, Ms. Kelly Murphy, has offered the following link for a number of fun and interesting activities.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jlcuqLm_g0gg5HQYphiTFciu3llwtW9RdMrL9OKZwmQ/edit?ts=5abcf105

 

Have a wonderful spring break!

 

March 20, 2018
by Mary Elaswad
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~Happy First Day of Spring~

The Courtyard is springing to life – in its own way and in its own time!

St. Patrick’s Day is behind us, but there is definitely a nip in the air.

As the Courtyard awakens, the Committee is happy to let you know that the first bench has arrived thanks to  Mr. Cialone’s Dearborn High School Advanced Wood Tech class.Hand made wooden flat-top benchThere are plans for five more to accommodate your classes!   We are happy to encourage you to connect with the outdoors and take your classes outside.  Be creative, be scientific!  It is remains the goal of the Courtyard to take advantage of this outdoor classroom, engage in authentic learning in a natural environment, and expand insights so that we can develop a deeper and appreciative understanding of what it is to be a part of the natural world .

 

In the meantime, it is wonderful (and educational) to ponder nature’s subtle surprises.

Can you spot the squirrel?  (Hint:  you may need to enlarge the photo).

squirrel hiding in a nest made of leaves on the side of a tree

Special thanks to Ms. Grodzicki for sharing this adorable picture.

 

Welcome spring!

April 20, 2017
by Nicole Mark
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SPRING IS IN THE NATURAL WONDERS COURTYARD

Former Bryant student, David LeVasseur, is well on his way to earning his Eagle Scout Badge.  He spent hours working in the Bryant courtyard over spring break. Helping him were boy scouts, Mr. LeVasseur,  Kaylyn LeVasseur and Ms. Tozzi. Take a look! The flower beds have been cleaned up, new mulch added, and more stones added around flower beds. The clean up and freshening up occurred Thursday and Friday of spring break.

 

                             

The next courtyard project includes adding river rock and tall grasses and flowers to the area by the atrium as well as planting more flowers outside the fence. You can help by donating perennials from the following list. Contact Mrs. Mark to arrange to drop off donations: 313-827-2910 or markn@dearbornschools.org

Plant Donations:

Bulbs: Tulip and Daffodils

Various Parennials

For the Butterfly Garden area, the following are available from the Spring Hill Nursery Catalogue:

Seduction Series Yarrow – Item #61056 (pink) #61025 (yellow) sells for $7.49

Mexican Sunflower – Item #64999 sells for $4.99

Blue Fortune Hummingbird Mint – Item #69337 sells for $7.49

Mango Tango Hummingbird Mint – Item #66032 sells for $7.49

Pink Fizz Heucherella – Item #65928 sells for $12.99

Beneficial Bug Habitat – Item #61301 sells for $59.00

Hanging Roosting Pocket – Item 69230 sells for $12.99

December 15, 2016
by Nicole Mark
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Former Bryant Eagle still has our back!

Former Bryant Eagle, David LeVasseur pictured here in top left, is pictured with his Boy Scout Troop 1147. David is working toward his Eagle Scout Rank and has decided to make the Bryant Natural Wonders Courtyard his focus. You will find him and his troop working in the courtyard in the spring to prepare it for teachers to use. He will be adding some aspects that will optimize outdoor learning. Thanks for your dedication, David!

December 13, 2016
by Nicole Mark
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Courtyard Mission Statement

 

 Our mission is to build and develop a greater understanding and appreciation of nature
through exploration and guided use of this microcosmic ecosystem .  The appreciation for this natural wonder extends into every genre of the academic experience in art, music, literature, math, social studies and science.  By taking advantage of this outdoor classroom,
engaging in authentic learning activities in a natural environment, and expanding our insight, we can truly develop a deeper and appreciative understanding of what it is to be a part of the natural world.
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