The Grenada Middle School has created an outdoor environment to depict a Mississippi Native American Choctaw Homestead to include elements of the ecosystem, lodging, art, and use of natural resources. Our living bioregional model provides an innovative teaching tool in an interactive learning environment. The Homestead traces the settlement proesses and patterns of Mississippi Choctaws and their reactions to and modifications of their physical environment.
The project has provided enhanced resources for our district through a three-dimensional environmental experience. This learning environment has fostered an awareness of the interrelated characteristics of habitat, need for resource conservation, and has provided information influencing the patterns of human development.
The key players in the developmental process of our project are a varied group of community partners. The financial portion of the project was funded by a grant from the Mississippi Geography Education Fund and a Wal-Mart grant. Development of the Choctaw portion of our project was assisted by the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians (particulary Thallis and Woodlin Lewis), and the Mississippi Choctaw Field OfficePartners working on the construction of the project's flowing stream included the Mississippi State University Extension Service, Mississippi Forestry Commission, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Grenada School District Maintenance Department. . Creation of the ecosystem plant environment was facilitated by the Grenada Vocational School and the Mississippi Wildlife Museum.
Steps in Development of the Choctaw Homestead and Mississippi Ecosystem:
Grant proposal to the Mississippi Geography Eduction Fund was written and funded.
•Historical information was sought from the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians
Elevations of the area were surveyed.
Working drawings for the flowing stream's construction were developed.
The stream and pond were constructed, with careful attention to the elevations required.
Stream bed was concreted.
Students brought stones and rocks to line the pond.
Topsoil was spread.
Native plants were selected and planted in the ecosystem.
Choctaw log house was constructed with the assistance of the Mississippi Choctaw Field Office.