School Forests in Minnesota


Welcome to the School Forest Program website!

graphic of School Forest logoA school forest is an outdoor classroom. Students learn and apply math, art, science, language arts, and social studies while gaining an appreciation and awareness of natural resources.

For students, School Forests develop and provide:

  • self-esteem
  • sense of community
  • skills
  • knowledge base
  • life-long critical thinking
  • real-life situations in their forest
  • frequent, enjoyable outdoor experiences
  • engagement in learning

For schools, the School Forest program provides:

Open the door to natural resources for your students today!


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Congratulations to our School Forest Award Winners!

Virginia school forest students Virginia school forest students North Woods School Forest in Cook County

2015 Formal Environmental Educator Award

The Minnesota Association for Environmental Education awarded Betsy Bartel as the formal environmental educator of the year. Betsy, who teachers 1st and 2nd grade, helped start the Lakewood Elementary School Forest in Duluth over 20 years ago. She integrates nature into a variety of lessons such as math, reading, and art. Read more » This link leads to an external site.

2015 Buzz Ryan Award

Shawn Linder received this year's award from the Minnesota Forestry Employee Association. Shawn is the site coordinator for the Jon Rowe School Forest in Grand Rapids. He was honored by the DNR Division of Forestry for his work educating and conserving natural resources through his work with students, FFA, and the community. Read more » This link leads to an external site.

2015 Teacher of the Year Award

Jenny Moorman was awarded Teacher of the Year by the Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts. Jenny was the site coordinator for the Baudette School Forest and just recently retired. She helped enroll an additional 110 acres into the program in 2009. Read More »

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