Dean Makey School Forest, Baxter
In 2011, Dean Makey, the retired DNR forester after whom the school forest next to Forestview Middle School is named, began giving each kindergarten class a conifer seedling. Each class heads to the school forest to plant the seedling, which is labeled by the teacher’s name and the school year. The kindergartners then learn about the parts of a tree and what a tree needs to grow and survive. Their classroom tree, which is named and tagged, is plotted on a chart and planted in the Kindergarten Grove. The students are encouraged to come back with their parents at any time to find their tree and see how it is growing. When they graduate to Forestview Middle School as 5th graders, they will be able to find their kindergarten class tree and learn how it has grown along with them.
This project also helps families to learn about their school forest, starting in their child’s kindergarten year. The school forest is used by the community for education and recreation, especially cross-country skiing. Check out the Dean Makey Kindergarten Grove the next time you pass through Baxter!