NILES, Mich. (WNDU) - Brandywine High and Middle School in Niles unveiled a new area for students to learn outside of the classroom Thursday.
The wide-open space and running waters of the brand-new courtyard give students a nice place to relax and study.
"They could also come out here and for like language arts and they could read or like write poems or something, you know?" 7th Grader Haley Cherry said. "It gives this courtyard a use instead of just being empty."
Because just months ago, there wasn't a water feature or much of anything. It was just grass until Upstream Waters Landscape helped the students get a $17 thousand renovation.
"We just thought we were going to have to do a lot of fundraising," Cherry said. "But luckily, they came in and donated, like, all the project."
"We had the landscaping company give us ideas," 7th Grader Hayden Seggerman said. "And then we kind of gave the our kind of like what we wanted it to be."
The entire courtyard isn't just for show. All the plant life is completely native to Michigan, so any students that need to study can come out and learn a little bit about the environment they live in.
"Students can actually see the ecosystem in actually live action," Cherry said. "So they can see, like, all the fish and how they all fit into the role of the circle of life and stuff."
But even more important to the students is that this project is theirs.
"We can say the students of 2017/2018 did- this was our mark on the school," 8th Grader Garrett Stoneburner said.
And the school hopes to keep growing the project in the future.
For safety reasons, students will have to get permission from teachers to unlock the door to the courtyard, if they'd like to be outside.