Theft mars outdoor experience at Northport school

Posted June 17, 2011, at 3:45 p.m.

NORTHPORT, Maine — Children who celebrated Earth Day by having class in nature last week with two local environmental advocacy groups learned a less-positive lesson about human nature, too, after some boards to make outdoor seats at the Edna Drinkwater School were stolen.

Cloe Chunn, president of the Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition, said the coalition and the Penobscot Bay Stewards went to the elementary school on Thursday, June 9, to help 109 students learn about things such as soil studies, mud flats, tidal pools, habitat exploration, art and gardens.

But when students went to the clearing in mature woods near the school where adults had hidden four planks to make seats for an outdoor classroom, the building materials had vanished.

“It was a total surprise,” Chunn said Thursday. “We showed up at 8:30 a.m. and boom, there was nothing there.”

The children watched as adults called police to report the theft of $34 in materials. The police quickly arrived and investigated the woods around the classroom but found nothing, Chunn said.

“It was disappointing, but gosh, those teachers and my volunteers just rose to the occasion,” she said.

Adults decided that the children could have their outdoor classroom without the planks to make seats. They will just sit on logs from now on, Chunn said.

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