Marcellus science teacher Tyler Cooper lays out the plans for the site of the former Lower Crown Mill. He, his students and other volunteers are turning it into an outdoor classroom and community park.

"As a coach who sees the support for the players, the team and my program, to be able to give back and have something that we can say thank you for supporting us, and have something with a lasting impression for the district and the village, I think means a lot to the people in the community," said Cooper, who also coaches junior varsity soccer.

The spot is down the hill from Marcellus High School, near Nine Mile Creek. The blueprints show extending the creek walk trail, adding handicap fishing access, and a solar garden. It will provide on-site, interactive learning for science classes.

“In the classroom, maybe you can dissect something or look at a leaf or a stick, but outside you can look at how animals behave with one another, what they eat, what they drink and why they act the way they do," said Grady Germain, a sophomore at Marcellus.

Students say when they step outside the classroom not only do they get closer to nature, but it brings them closer to one another.

"My favorite part would have to be with my friends all the time,” said Germain. “Our soccer team is really close knit and it just feels good to bring together that relationship with one another."

The students used that team work to clean up the site. They spent the weekend removing weeds and tree trunks with the goal of investing in the future Mustangs – in and out of the classroom.

Cooper would like to have the park ready for lessons in the spring.

Up the hill from the park, Marcellus takes on Solvay in our Friday Night Matchup. You can watch on Spectrum News at 7 pm. Then, catch highlights from across the region on First and Ten at 11:00 p.m. Friday.