What’s happening with the OWL Site?

Sunflowers growing in the OWL site. Photo Imaging often uses the site for photographing nature.

Sunflowers growing in the OWL site. Photo Imaging often uses the site for photographing nature.

Areli Ruiz, Reporter

Ryan Shellhammer, biology teacher, is in charge of the Heights Outdoor Wilderness Learning Site (OWLS). The OWL site is the large area in the middle of the A-Hall rectangle. The OWLS program is for students and teachers to learn about and interact with nature.

Shellhammer, who teaches Biology I and Zoology took charge of the Owl Site Program three years ago. The Heights OWL Site is not registered on the Kansas Department Of Wildlife, but the site was create by students and teachers interested in the program. 

This year a couple changes to the sites use are planned. For example, Shellhammer stated, “I am going to involve my students from my classes to help clean the outside.” In the past, work on the site depended on volunteers or clubs and Advocacies, but this year students in Shellhammer’s classes are going to be the ones involved.

Shellhammer, plans to  use the Owl site as a new learning space for his Botany and Biology kids.He said, “There is a new  area where we are going to transition into a native garden.” The plans are to create a  garden with Kansas native plants. 

However, to be able to add plants they need to clean out what is there now. This feature will teach about the native tall grass prairie, which is a threatened ecosystem.

The main obstacle is the money. Shellhammer said, “ I have been trying to get funding figured out to buy supplies and tools to keep it up.” Fundraisers are in the future to purchase the equipment needed. The goal is to get more materials and heavy equipment like lawn mowers, to be able to help fix the outdoor Owl site.