It may not have been the first question she asked when she got her new job at Georgia Park Elementary School two years ago, but it was maybe the second.
“What’s going on with that wooded area over there?” she asked on the first day she was supervising recess.
The area was across the school field, and it wasn’t looking great, but she saw its potential.
“I’ve always been about bringing the kids outside, and when I found out it was owned by the city, I called them and asked them if we could play back there. They said yes, so I asked if we could make it better.”
That began the process that has been the reparations of that parkland.
“We’ve been taking out blackberries, and we made this little bridge, and we got in touch with Greenways and they said they’d help us plant some new trees.”
Because kids, she says, need to get outside a little more often, and they need a safe, ecologically sound place to do that.
“Kids need to connect with nature,” she says. “They’re not going to care about it if we don’t help them learn to love it. We spend time out here every week and the kids get to see the same place through the seasonal changes and it’s amazing the things that they notice that they wouldn’t have otherwise noticed.
“And sometimes, they just need to go play. The playground is great, but this, I think, is better.”