Why become a school forest?

A School Forest is an outdoor classroom where students learn a variety of subjects and address academic standards. It can become a place that not only enhances an appreciation of natural resources but heightens community pride and involvement. A functioning School Forest has positive effects on students, teachers, parents, and the community.


planting tree

For students, School Forests can:

  • Make lessons more relevant by using meaningful, real-world situations
  • Reach students through hands-on learning
  • Increase knowledge gain and student achievement
  • Provide mentoring opportunities for older students
  • Encourage physical activity and improve student health
  • Allow students with disabilities frequent, safe contact with the natural world
  • Develop young people's innate interest in the natural world
  • Foster a sense of ownership and community connection
  • Increase creativity, self-esteem, and motivation
  • Expose students to local natural resource career possibilities
School and teachers


For schools and teachers, School Forests can:

Parents, families and communities
Parent walking with child

For parents, families, and communities, School Forests can:

  • Strengthen parent-teacher relationships while working toward a common goal
  • Provide increased recreation and exploration opportunities
  • Create a more environmentally literate population who will make sound, long-term community decisions
  • Create a sense of ownership among parents, families, students, and community members
  • Engender cooperation between stakeholders
  • Involve community members as guest presenters and volunteers, and allow them to serve as positive adult role models.
  • Increase community safety. Studies show that crime decreases as a community spends more time outside in a positive environment.

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