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Aspen Ridge students continue to build and groom West End Trails

The students and their science teacher say this is a fun way to have new outside-the-classroom experiences
Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 5:03 PM EST
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ISHPEMING TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WLUC) - For four years, Environmental Science classes at Aspen Ridge School have spent weeks building and tidying the West End Trails. They stretch three miles around NICE Community Schools.

“We had to spend countless hours walking on these trails {and} perfecting them,” said Isaiah Patron, an eighth grader. “But, we got the job done. The whole class worked hard.”

Through donations and fundraising, Kurt Corcoran, a science teacher who leads the course, gets tools from local stores for his young trail blazers to get the job done.

“There are no textbooks, vocabulary quizzes, or your traditional types of school assessments,” Corcoran said. “We go outside and play, build, and have a good time.”

Aden Koski, another eighth grader, says this experience helps expand her horizons.

“It’s really fun, and you get to experience new things that you don’t experience every day,” she stated. “It’s really adventurous, and you get to go outside a lot each day.”

Eighth grader Jack Moyle and other students plan to spend time on the trails, even while out of school.

“I want to go snowshoeing out here even more,” Moyle said. “Even if school’s out, like snow days or something, maybe I will come out here, groom the trails if no one can get out here.

“I think it would be a fun time,” he continued, “and I could show my family around the trails that we’ve been building.”

To promote the trails, the school has its upcoming West End Annual Snowshoe Lantern Event (W.E.A.S.L.E.). Donations will be used for trail refurbishing.

“We had over 300 people show up last year,” Corcoran explained. “We’re going to have a big bonfire, we’ll have hot chocolate and coffee available, {and} we will have snowshoes available for anybody that needs them or wants them.”

Corcoran says “if you build it, they will come.” W.E.A.S.L.E. will be on February 5th beginning at 5:00 p.m., and everyone is invited to attend.

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