Mustang Pound Collaboration Continues


Allie Schwartz, Editor-in-Chief

Gunnison High School (GHS) and Gunnison Middle School (GMS) have worked together numerous times in the past to complete projects such as building gazebos and have had the opportunity to help each other again this fall. Seventh-grade students have been studying ecosystems and how they relate to each other over the past couple of weeks in their science class’s Outdoor Learning Lab. This year GMS science teacher Renne Brekke-Ebbott and GHS woodshop teacher Wyatt Phipps decided to collaborate with each other to build new weather-withstanding tables for the lab. 

Every year I do a project with seventh graders in the Outdoor Learning Lab and think to myself we need some tables out here” Brekke stated, “I asked Mr. Phipps at the beginning of the school year if he could have his high school students build us some tables.” GHS woodshop students led by Phipps were able to design and build industrial tables for the outdoor learning space, “It took the high school students about seven weeks to complete the tables and I think that the people who built the tables will be proud to have them in a community space that will probably last for over twenty years” Phipps commented. 

Wyatt Phipps and his wood shop class show the tables they made to middle school students for the outdoor classroom.

The tables were built with donated materials from the airport construction and extra materials were provided by the middle school. Along with the donated materials, the GMS science department received financial support from the Upper Gunnison River Water Conservation District and donated native wildflower seeds from the Gunnison Conservation District to assist in their efforts to maintain the Outdoor Learning Lab. 

Currently, the middle school science classes are working on creating a pollinator garden in the outdoor classroom area, “The Outdoor Learning Lab Pollinator Garden can educate students, community members and visitors about the importance of water in our lives,” Brekke stated, “We rely on it to support our beautiful Gunnison Valley ecosystems, support our economy, and provide recreation opportunities year-round within our community.” The garden will also help to educate future generations about the importance of biodiversity and pollinators within ecosystems.

The Outdoor Learning Lab has been evolving each year with seventh-grade students adding to it for the past fifteen years and will continue to improve and expand. Brekke is optimistic that the garden will bloom come spring and hopes to add some sort of shade structure in the future.