BUTTERNUT - Most students want to get outside for recess. Now, students in Butternut will have a whole new outlook on learning thanks to an outdoor classroom and student forest.
"The community can come and use it, the school can come and use it, it'll be here for years and years," says High School Science Teacher Dawn Ertl.
But this outdoor classroom and forest is seven years in the making. The Butternut School District raised nearly $50,000 to get kids out of the classroom and into the world.
"We don't have the resources larger schools do so having the community come together has made all the difference," says Ertl.
Students here will use the outdoor classroom and forest in a number of ways. English students can take a walk through the trails and do some creative writing, and Biology students can study the environment at its best.
"There's so many mathematical learning opportunities through these kinds of projects. It's a great way to get people engaged and understand the world around them better," says DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp.
Students from classes that helped build their new classroom are taking away lasting memories.
"This is the only class I know of that you get to actually come outside, was the Field Biology class. And getting to make it so other kids can come out too is probably the best part," says junior Liz Pritzl.
In November 2006, nearly 60 percent of Wisconsin voters supported an amendment banning gay marriage.
Before Wisconsin lawmakers could consider a bill to allow gay marriage, voters would have to pass an amendment undoing the 2006 amendment language. But before that the Legislature would have to pass the amendment in two consecutive sessions.
WOODRUFF - The capitol may be far away but one of our local legislators wants to bring it closer. Assemblyman Rob Swearingen is meeting with constituents around the 34th district.
He visited Woodruff and Eagle River today.
Swearingen is five months into his freshman term. He wants to make sure people can put a face to his name.
He also wants reach those who might be skeptical of him because of his political party.
"You get that, just because I have the "R" in the back of my name that you're automatically not going to be friendly to those issues. And we encourage you to reach out. I may respond and it may not be the response you want to hear, but if you're going to ask me an honest question I'm going to give you an honest answer," says Rep. Swearingen.
Swearingen says everyone's working hard on the budget in Madison. He's hearing a lot of concerns about school funding locally.
"I just really feel that people should be engaged with their own local legislators so the legislator knows them, and knows how they feel. And I showed him my tax bill and he got a real perspective for someone who's on a fixed income and how all the costs for education impact one of his constituents," says Shirley Kufeldt, from Conover.
"We're looking for more funding for the K-12 funding program. I think there's been a lot of heightened awareness in the capital on both sides of the isle and in the Governor's office. So I'm looking for hopefully some good results to help rural schools as the budget moves forward before the Governor signs it in the first part of July," says Rep. Swearingen.
Swearingen's first budget motion was to allow Nicolet College to be eligible for state aid based on enrollment. That motion passed unanimously.
He says his weekly drive to his office in Madison is a reality check.
"There's the state capitol and you realize that your office is inside that building. It's a really surreal feeling to walk into that building each morning. Every time I press that button, whether it's green or red, I am voting on behalf of over 50,000 people in the 34th Assembly District. And that is something you don't take lightly," says Rep. Swearingen.
Swearingen will continue district dialogues on Monday. He'll be in Florence, Rhinelander and Crandon.
Florence, May 20th 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM Maxsells Restaurant Inn & Pub, 209 Central Ave, (US Highway 2)
Crandon, May 20th 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM Forest County Courthouse, Board Room
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