Y-Club Outdoor Classroom

Victoria Steward, Managing Editor and Arts Editor

Lafayette’s Y-Club has recently built an outdoor learning space–the first of its kind on public property in Lexington. Y-Club is associated with the YMCA, it encourages student involvement in government and community services. With two conferences every year, Kentucky Youth Assembly (KYA) and Kentucky United Nations Assembly (KUNA), students have a chance to learn about state and international government.

The outdoor learning space, the Lone Oak Arboretum, is located at 566 Lone Oak Drive. The Arboretum sits on two plots of reclaimed land between Clays Mill and Lone Oak roads. The city bought these plots from the previous owners because of repeated flooding. The outdoor learning space  is open for use by nearby schools and the surrounding neighborhood.

Y-Club received a grant from Kentucky American Water to expand on their work the previous year in the same space. With the help from Friends of Wolf Run and Friends of the Parks, and the support of the Picadome Neighborhood Association, the group created a space where students and neighborhood families can gather and learn about native Kentucky plants. With money from the grant and donations from the community, stone seating was brought in and students planted Kentucky native trees, edible plants, and pollinator gardens.