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Senior creates ‘outdoor learning space’ at RHMS
outdoor learning space
Richmond Hill Middle School Principal Dr. William McGrath and Richmond Hill High School senior Calie Peterson, who recently created an outdoor learning space at RHMS for her Girl Scout gold project. Photo provided.

Richmond Hill High School rising senior Calie Peterson recently completed a 250-square-foot outdoor learning space in the Richmond Hill Middle School Research Garden for her Girl Scout gold project.

When searching for project ideas early in 2018, Peterson learned research garden coordinator Bob Hodgdon and Richmond Hill Middle school principal Dr. William McGrath were interested in adding a formal learning area with workstations to the middle school’s 5,000-square-foot research garden.

In addition to the agricultural and native wildflower research taking place in garden, RHMS students are involved in a number of additional outdoor learning projects.

From inception to completion, the project took Peterson nearly six months.

Her work involved designing and presenting a project proposal to the Girl Scout Council and to Bryan County Schools Assistant Superintendent Of Operations And Student Services Dr. Trey Robertson; raising funds and finding companies willing to donate materials; researching how to build a brick paver patio space; and finally the construction.

She was involved in every aspect of construction including installing the paver stones. She raised funds by having a yard sale in April. The pavers and crush for the project were donated by Lowcountry Pavers of Hardeeville, SC. She received design and construction guidance from Elmgren’s Services in Richmond Hill as well as from Lowcountry Pavers.

Peterson also had a great deal of support and assistance from her parents, Frank and Cathy Peterson, and from a loyal group of friends and even some of their parents. Dr. McGrath said of Peterson, “She did an amazing job on this. I cannot believe how well it turned out. She put a tremendous amount of work into this project and it is clear how concerned she was that it was done correctly.”

Hodgdon added, “Calie is an extraordinary young lady and she was assisted in the project by wonderful, supportive parents and an extraordinary group of friends, most of whom I taught in the 7th grade. Their character and the things these students have accomplished during their youth is simply amazing. They are the total package.”

Richmond Hill residents will have the opportunity to enjoy Peterson in a different light this fall as she leads the Richmond Hill Wildcat Marching Band as one of three drum majors.

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