In 1999, a unique collaboration of partners comprised of National Park Service Conservation Study Institute, Shelburne Farms, National Wildlife Federation, USDA Forest Service and Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park 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. As a result, they developed a “Forest for Every Classroom.”
Flathead National Forest and Glacier National Park will form a partnership through this program to implement the “Forest for Every Classroom” teacher professional development program from 2017-2019. The two agencies will bring a one-year professional training experience to teachers focused on place-based education in and about local forest areas focusing on the Flathead watershed.
During the year-long program, 18-20 educators are provided with the knowledge, skills and mentoring necessary to revitalize their curriculum with effective and engaging learning opportunities using nearby public lands and forested landscapes as their classrooms. Educators develop their own individualized curriculum integrating concepts of ecology, sense of place, land management and stewardship, service learning and civics, increasing student literacy skills while also enhancing student understanding and appreciation for public lands and forests in and near their own communities.