Calera Elementary School has been recognized as the first Shelby County School to be certified by the National Wildlife Federation as a Certified Wildlife Habitat. The school were also certified by the Alabama Wildlife Federation as a Certified Alabama Outdoor Classroom.
The Outdoor Classroom project started nine years ago by Shawn Nash, a Physical Education teacher at CES. After receiving a grant, Nash constructed and planted a large vegetable garden with the help of her students. Her next project was a beautiful butterfly garden with walking paths and a reading bench.
Frank Stronge, a second grade teacher, joined with Nash last year and together they added a water garden with fish and tadpoles, raised beds for herbs and sunflowers, and created three other garden areas. The outdoor classroom also has a greenhouse designated for cacti and succulents, a compost bin, nesting boxes, and several bird feeders.