Environmental Classroom Letterbox

Terrain: Easy (nice 45 minute hike around campus)
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Materials: Usual supplies and a calculator(?)
Placed: January 27, 2003
Revised: November 14, 2004
By: The Dragon
Location: Washington County, WI
Nearest town: Jackson, WI

Dragon's Home Page



Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School is located just to the east of Jackson, WI.  The school has been blessed with a large campus nestled next to farms and DNR land.  During construction of the last two building additions the school had the unique opportunity to turn part of its campus into an outdoor environmental classroom and build a wetland wastewater treatment facility (the first of its kind in the northern US) due in large part to the efforts of their biology instructor.

The area public is welcome to hike on the environmental trails for leisure and exercise.  Permission from the school is granted for letterboxers to visit the school grounds for the purpose of seeking the Environmental Classroom Letterbox provided the letterboxers follow the standard letterboxing code of conduct, recognize the letterboxing wavier, keep contact with the student body to a minimum, and respect the Christian environment of the campus.  The clues do pass letterboxers around some athletic fields and along the cross country course (partly located

in the environmental classroom).  Letterboxers can search for the letterbox without interfering with any athletic events except for the home cross country meet which is always held on the last Thursday of August and the grade school CC meet the first Wednesday of October.  (As I am the cross country coach, I would strongly recommend you avoid those dates unless you want to get trampled!)  Also, the wetlands can be very wet (flooded or muddy trails) if there has been a lot of rain.


Jackson is located at the intersection of Hwy. 45 and Hwy. 60 in Washington County, WI, twenty minutes north of Milwaukee.  Just east of Hwy. 45 on Hwy. 60 is a stop light where Hwy. 60 intersects County P.  Take County P south about a mile to the first crossroad (Sherman Road).  Head east on Sherman Road 2.6 miles (over railroad tracks, past Maple Road) to where there is a gravel road on the north side of Sherman Road between a farmhouse and another house (it is 1/4 mile west of Division Rd (Hwy. G) which is the first stop you come to after the railroad tracks).  The gravel road is blocked by a metal gate after a few yards.  Enter on the gravel road and park off to the side near the gate.

Walk north along the gravel road to the end of the tree line on your right. As soon as the tree line ends, take a right turn up the embankment to the large sign located in front of a small wetland.  Read the large sign explaining what this area is about and decipher the first three cryptogram clues (see the end of these clues).  Enjoy the new "Green Machine" - the windmill that gives power to the process.

Standing next to the sign, turn to the north and spot the baseball field in the distance.  Walk to the beginning of the home run fence in right field.  (This is the finish line of our CC course.  If you are there in the fall, you might still see the finish line painted on the ground.)  Walk along the home run fencing from its start in right field to its end in left field, and count the number of vertical poles in the ground that make-up the fence.  Keep this number for later: F = _______

At the end of the fence walk forward 15 paces.  You will now be at the end of the "snowmobile trail" located down the embankment from leftfield.  Turn right and go down the trail "F" paces to where the trail splits.

Head on the NW trail (bearing 323 degrees) to its end at the "fishing pond" (some students may be fishing here). Answer cryptogram clue #4.  Count how many birdhouses there are in the pond.  Keep this number for later: H = ______

Go back to where the trail had split and take the NE trail (bearing 49 degrees) this time.  Stay to the left on that trail as it follows along the fishing pond.  Soon you will come upon a large rowboat (unless it's being used in the pond or in the shed for maintenance).  What 4-digit number is part of the boat's registration code?  Keep this number for later: R = ______

Turn around and face south and take the trail on the left (bearing 167 degrees) until it meets up with the snowmobile trail again.  (This is where the trail might get muddy.)  Turn left and head straight down the snowmobile trail until you are forced to turn right where the trail meets the "island pond".  Follow the path as it goes around the island pond.  On your way around, you might check for any snakes under the "snake board" on your right at the first trail intersection you come to.  (Here students study the variety of WI snakes local to our area - if they aren't too afraid.)  Continue around the front of the island pond.  Stop at the picnic table.  Count the number of island(s) in the pond.  Keep this number for later: I = ______

At the picnic table, take the right trail (not the one you came on) and stay right until you come out of the wetlands.  Turn left and walk along the rim of the wetlands until you find a large engraved rock standing up in a landscaped area.  Answer cryptogram clues 5-7. What Psalm is quoted?  Keep this number for later: P = ______

Take the trail that enters the wetlands to the left (north) of the engraved rock.  You will soon reach the outdoor classroom located on a small peninsula.  How many benches are there (don't include picnic tables)?  B = ______

Now use the numbers you collected to calculate (sorry, I'm a math teacher too!) the compass heading you need:

Add up all of the digits of the numbers you collected: ______

Reverse the digits: ______

This is your new bearing.  Stand in the middle of the classroom benches and spy the brown and green man-made object at the heading you calculated.  You need to get to that object (hint: use the path around the pond).

Once at the object, answer cryptogram clue #8.  Face west and take the trail to the right to the picnic table that you can see.  Sit down at the picnic table and decipher the final clues using the code from the cryptogram clues.

Cryptogram Clues:

1) Name of this project:                     

2) What the last "E" stands for:               

3) The school's initials:                   

4) What man-made object is at the end of the trail?

5) What is the 4th engraved word?               

6) What type of waters?                   

7) What is the 8th last engraved word?           

8) What is the 4th word on the object?           









Final clues:






Continue on the left path to a familiar place and then back to your car.

Thanks for visiting!  I hope you had a nice time!


Before you set out read the waiver of responsibility and disclaimer.

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