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Using Writing Skills to Help Save a Park

Students have been working hard on their persuasive letters to MPP Jim Wilson, urging the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources to reconsider closing Springwater Provincial Park. This day use park near Barrie is currently scheduled to close on March 31st, because of declining visitorship. Our persuasive letter project fulfills curriculum requirements in writing, plus objectives in character education and citizenship.

A curriculum Learning Goal that applies to this project is posted on our classroom wall:

Students also have a sheet of more detailed Learning Goals and Success Criteria to guide their persuasive letter writing. The same criteria can be applied to next month's persuasive letters in support of the new turtle hospital. Click on the image below to enlarge it:

Click here to see the rubric we are using to assess our persuasive letters.

These are students writing their letters in support of Springwater Provincial Park:

Here are some of the students in our class with their finished letters:

In the meantime, the group of adult volunteers working to save the park ("The Friends of Springwater Provincial Park") have now raised enough money to register for Federal non-profit status. They are hoping this designation will enable them to form a partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, with the goals of keeping the park open and making it more profitable.

You just never know where a kid's idea might take you!  On Wednesday, January 23rd, The Friends of Springwater Provincial Park invited me to sit on their board, as their Education Outreach Coordinator.  I told them I would be honored to assist in this way. Thank you to my two Grade 5 students who suggested that our class do what we can to help save Springwater Provincial Park!

More to come as events unfold...

MARCH 23, 2013:  Today we received a response to our letters!  (Click on the images to enlarge them.)

Thank you for visiting our class BLOG.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free e-mail me (Margaret Black): or to add a comment to this page.

3 thoughts on “Using Writing Skills to Help Save a Park

  1. Sondra Martin

    LOVE IT!!!!
    Good on you!
    I was hoping to do this with my grade 2 class as well.
    Is there anyway you can send this message/idea board-wide (or to as many schools as possible?).....Other than letter-writing is there anything else we can do.....can we raise money within our schools? Now that it is a registered charity?...pennies for the park?......hmmmm......what about some publicity!
    And did you just send your letters to Jim Wilson?
    Anything I can do at my end, I'm more than willing to help!
    Thanks! Sondra Martin
    WC Little school, Barrie

  2. Margaret Black

    Thanks, Sondra. You have already found the Facebook page for Friends of Springwater Park. They are coordinating the effort to save the park.

    I will be mailing our letters to Jim Wilson on Friday (i.e. after I have had time to assess them for writing marks).

    Collecting money is a great idea, if your school will allow it. Ours is pretty strict about having fund-raisers approved in the fall by parent council. Our class had a fund-raiser for animal welfare pre-approved. We exceeded the goal we set, raising funds to help an abused dog in Alliston, so we can't do any further fund-raising this year.

    My class has four curriculum-based community service projects on the go this year. The Board issued a media release to help us promote our initiative to help Princess the dog. Maybe I'll send them info. about the Springwater Park project, as well. Thanks for the suggestion.

    The BLOG post that outlines all four of our projects is here:

    Thanks for your comment,

  3. Pingback: Mrs. Black's Class Blog | Curriculum-based Community Service!

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