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Program Information: Program Benefits and Responsibilities

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The Minnesota School Forest Program provides a valuable natural resource education experience. The school forest criteria exist to ensure lands are used in a manner consistent with program goals and educational activities are supported appropriately. These criteria identify the responsibilities of the DNR and the school.


image of MN DNR foresterBenefits and DNR Responsibilities

The DNR values the knowledge students gain from experiencing outdoor education activities. The DNR provides the following benefits to support and promote school participation in outdoor and natural resource activities.


School Responsibilities

photograph of site coordinator

The Minnesota School Forest Program seeks schools that are interested in a long-term commitment to natural resource and outdoor education. Participation from multiple teachers, administrators, parents, and community members is vital to a site's success. To help ensure a lasting, beneficial school forest site effort, school must meet the following criteria:


Accountability

photograph of School Forest and DNR foresters

If school responsibilities are not met, the school forest staff and local DNR foresters will work with site coordinators to identify and agree upon a plan and time line to bring the site into compliance.

If a site is unable or unwilling to follow the criteria, it will lose program benefits and certification in the School Forest Program. If a noncompliant school is on tax-forfeited land, the appropriate state and county authorities will be notified of the site’s removal from the program. Reconveyance of land will be handled between the site/school and county.

Site leaders can address comments or concerns to School Forest Program staff. If the DNR does not comply with the above criteria, site leaders can appeal to the state forester or the DNR commissioner.

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