May 3, 2012. Students from St. Thomas School in Medina, Wash., have been getting their hands dirty – literally – at Overlake Golf & Country Club (G&CC) in nearby Bellevue. As part of an ongoing partnership with the club, students designed an expansion for Overlake G&CC’s nature trail, and will work on the trail’s construction in May.
Last year Overlake built a nature trail on the golf course and now hosts field trips that use the course as an outdoor learning lab. Students and teachers explore topics such as plant identification, plant science, water testing, wildlife and habitat management, planting of native plant species and environmental artwork.
Overlake is expanding the trail to accommodate a larger number of students. The new area is also more heavily wooded to allow students to experience more features of the environment.
Students created all the designs for the trail-expansion project. Requirements included highlighting specific plants/trees in the area, providing an area for benches, and making room for a butterfly garden. The students created six different designs and selected one. The plan included identifying and measuring the new area to ensure it fit seamlessly with the original trail.
The students will be engaged in all steps required for the trail’s completion, and Overlake’s maintenance crew will supply help in between visits to put the "final touches" of each stage. Aside from the assistance of a couple staff members, the students will be performing much of the work on the property.
Marcus Harness, Assistant Golf Course Superintendent, says, “The students did a great job with their designs and we are very excited to work on the build phase of the project with them.”
The project schedule involved:
Flagging/Painting of the Nature Trail Layout
Clearing the Trail
Leveling Problem Areas on Trail
Spreading Bark on Trail