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Photos: Outdoor learning area takes shape in Goodhue

A number of Goodhue students dig a whole to plant a tree in on May 3. Matthew Lambert / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 7
Goodhue Senior Seth Hinsch carries a tree on his shoulder during the planting of the school forest on May 3. Matthew Lambert / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 7
Goodhue Seniors Jay Dicke, Justin Thomforde, and Elise Tipcke hold northern red oak trees that are waiting to be planted in the school forest on May 3. Matthew Lambert / RiverTown Multimedia3 / 7
Goodhue sophomore Travis Hammond sets a maple tree in a row behind the Goodhue football field on May 3. Matthew Lambert / RiverTown Multimedia4 / 7
Matt Halverson, a high school biology teacher and school forest adviser at Goodhue Public Schools, instructs students on the proper planting of apple trees on May 3. Matthew Lambert / RiverTown Multimedia5 / 7
A trio of students work to plant an apple tree on May 3. Along with an apple orchard made up of Zester, Honeycrisp and McIntosh varieties, a school forest is being planted for classes to enjoy during the nice days of the school year. Matthew Lambert / RiverTown Multimedia6 / 7
That's a lot of trees. Goodhue students take trees behind the football and softball to plant an apple orchard and establish a school forest on May 3, 2019. The school forest will be used to educate students on the importance of nature, but also be used as a fun environment that classes can use when the weather is nice. Matthew Lambert / RiverTown Multimedia7 / 7

GOODHUE — An idea that came from a tweet has become a reality at Goodhue Public Schools.

Matt Halverson, a high school biology teacher, was browsing Twitter one day when he stumbled upon the idea of a school forest.

The Goodhue School forest will serve as an outdoor learning area, a place where in the months when classes want to be outside, they'll have a space for it.

On May 3, students planted 100 potted plants from the tree drive, along with 1,400 seedlings from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

The school forest is located behind the football field near the school and pool.

Also serving as the school forest supervisor, Halverson coordinated a district tree drive where community members could have Goodhue students plant a tree on behalf of a family, individual, place of business or in memory of a loved one. Halverson said the tree drive went well, raising over $7,500.

The school forest also will include an apple orchard, which the school will hope to use for school lunches and to teach lessons on sustainability.

The support they've received from local businesses, parents, and the entire school district makes Halverson grateful, saying the forest will be a nice reward for students to enjoy after MCA testing this month.

Halverson hopes that when he retires from the district the forest will be fully grown and thriving.

Matthew Lambert

Matthew Lambert joined the Red Wing Republican Eagle in March 2018 covering school board, public safety, and writing features. Lambert previously wrote for the Pierce County Herald and River Falls Journal. He is a graduate of Winona State University with a Bachelor's degree in Mass Communication: Journalism. 

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