Why become a school forest?

School Forest logoWhy 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.

Students

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

image

For schools and teachers, School Forests can:

  • Meet academic standards
  • Increase teacher motivation and enthusiasm
  • Allow teachers to try new teaching methods in an outdoor setting
  • Allow teachers to interact with students on a different level
  • "Green" your school by using sustainable and efficient ways of maintaining school property
  • Decrease vandalism and increase school pride
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

Learn more:

  • Find research that supports nature as a key component in education and communities.
  • Information on School Forest program benefits and support pieces.