Minneapolis/ Community & Society
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Published on April 27, 2024
Minnesota Master Naturalists Donate Field Desks to Support Adams Elementary Outdoor LearningSource: Coon Rapids Minnesota

In a generous act of educational philanthropy, second graders at Adams Elementary School received a special delivery of 30 field desks for their outdoor learning program, as reported by a local government publication. The desks, crafted and donated by Minnesota Master Naturalist Volunteers Michael and Pam Pagelkopf, are designed to support the school's forest classroom, part of a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources-recognized initiative that includes 157 school forests statewide.

The handover of the desks represents a tangible investment in experiential learning, with Adams Elementary among only four schools in Minnesota selected to receive such a gift this year; the Pagelkopfs have been making these donations out of pocket since 2010, contributing to various schools in an effort that now totals 1,802 field desks, according to information from the city's announcement. "We're just really grateful for Michael and Pam making these desks for us to use," Haley Peterson, a second-grade teacher at Adams, told the publication in acknowledgment of the gift.

An immense amount of work goes into the production of these educational tools, with Michael estimating a commitment of 40 hours per delivery cycle, from gathering materials to the final staining of the desks. Pam recalled the impact of their efforts on the children, noting how one of the early deliveries prompted students to express their appreciation for the desks, which helped prevent their belongings from being scattered or lost in the woods.

Although the second graders were the first to benefit from this delivery, the field desks are intended for use by any class at Adams Elementary; concurrently, students took part in planting dozens of new white pines in the school's designated Redhawk Ridge School Forest other students were engaged in planting dozens of new white pines in the Redhawk Ridge School Forest. This hands-on approach to education not only enriches the students' environmental knowledge but also cultivates a sense of stewardship for their surrounding ecosystem.