Volunteers Transform Signal Hill Outdoor Classroom with Boardwalk Extension

Steve Yordy, Ken Diekemper, and Bill Rathmann spent many hours in the fall of 2022 planning, preparing, and building a special project. They created an extension to the Signal Hill Outdoor Classroom’s boardwalk.
Initially built in 2018, the original boardwalk did not extend far enough to allow visitors or students to cross over the stream, making accessibility difficult. With funding from a community member and former Signal Hill teacher, HeartLands Conservancy and its volunteers were able to pursue the construction of an extension.

With all three volunteers having ties to the educational site and its nearby schools– Blessed Sacrament Catholic School and Signal Hill School—getting involved with improving the Outdoor Classroom just made sense. With a wealth of experience from past woodworking projects and home renovations, as well as his regular carpentry volunteering efforts at TreeHouse Wildlife Center, Steve Yordy took the lead on the project. His dedicated passion and personal experience with volunteering – he previously built the site’s insect hotels, helped with species diversity sampling, and assisted with invasive species removal – resulted in a usable and accessible walkway.

“With construction over, thanks to Bill and Ken‘s help,“ Steve said, “I can‘t wait to see what the site becomes as an educational site through our continued efforts in invasive species management and conservation curriculum, drawing students into learning about the outdoors at a location near them.“