Investing in Teachers: A Forest for Every Classroom

This project is fully funded thanks to the Thomas O. Brown Foundation and the Veverka Family Foundation.

Forest for Every Classroom was established in 1999, a unique collaboration of partners comprised of Shelburne Farms, National Wildlife Federation, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service Conservation Study Institute and Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park who came together with a common vision: If students are immersed in the interdisciplinary study of their own “place,” they will be more eager to learn and become involved in the stewardship of their communities and public lands.

Through this partnership, they developed “Forest for Every Classroom.” This is a collaboration of at least one non-profit natural history or environmental education organization, and at least one land management agency who are committed to bringing a one-year professional training experience to teachers focused on place-based education in and about local forest areas. Flathead National Forest proposes partnering with Glacier National Park to focus on the Flathead watershed.

This program is aimed at changing the way educators perceive and practice their profession. In the course of the year-long program, educators are provided with the knowledge, skills and mentoring necessary to revitalize their curriculum with effective and engaging place-based learning opportunities using nearby public lands and forested landscapes as their classrooms. Participating educators have the opportunity to work with some of the very best resource professionals in their region. Educators develop  their own individualized curriculum, increasing student literacy skills while also enhancing student understanding and appreciation for public lands and forests in and near their own communities. This program encourages “hands-on”  study  of  community  resources,  both  natural  and cultural, integrating concepts of ecology, sense of place, land management and stewardship, service learning and civics.