Fundraiser for MacArthur Middle School's nature sanctuary - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Fundraiser for MacArthur Middle School's nature sanctuary

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - An outdoor classroom at MacArthur Middle School is in desperate need of repair after it was vandalized over a decade ago and there was a lack of funding for the repairs.

The "nature sanctuary" at MacArthur Middle School is unlike anything offered by any other school in Lawton. It was built back in 1996 for students to get a hands-on experience learning about nature. It's filled with Oklahoma trees and plants for the kids to see.  Over the last several years its condition has deteriorated, making it unsafe for students to use.

Several years ago, the area was vandalized with no budget to get the area back in tip-top shape.

"It's going to take thousands of thousands of dollars to get it up to what we really want to utilize it for,” said MacArthur Middle School teacher Erin Berry.

Berry said obviously, the greenhouse needs to be fixed, but that's just the beginning.

"We need better security fencing around it so we can keep any vandalism from happening in the future,” Berry said. “I'd like someone to come out from soil and water conservation to make sure that our runoff is good so that we can keep the pond filled and to keep the erosion from happening. Our sidewalk is in bad disrepair. It has fallen into the pond because of that erosion."

Berry said because of those problems, the students time at the nature sanctuary has been limited, taking away from their education.

"Being in the classroom and learning from textbooks and researching online is great but if you don't get the hands on experience and get to see things up-close and personal, especially for kids who are from a more urban setting that don't get to see the natural wildlife that is from Oklahoma,” Berry said.

So, the school is holding their "Mac-Fest" event Saturday, May 6. It is a vendor fair to raise money for the nature sanctuary.

"People can come in, they can do their shopping here, we're going to have the Oklahoma blood institute here so you can come save the sanctuary and save a life which is great,” Berry said. “We'll have a free hot dog cookout, we'll have lots of great activities like face painting and we'll have a petting zoo out front for the kids."

It will be held at MacArthur Middle School from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. It's free but donations are appreciated.

Copyright 2017 KSWO. All rights reserved.

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