Conservation District Creates Awareness about School Forests
Mark Johnson, an agriscience instructor at Wexford-Missaukee Intermediate School District, is teaching his students about the industry of forestry; but they’re not just sitting in the classroom, he’s taking their work outside.
“School forests are one great way that schools can incorporate a natural resource curriculum into what otherwise might be a general science or environmental studies sort of class,” says Johnson.
He says his goal is for students to become more knowledgeable about our natural resources, so that one day they will be curious and ask questions.
Senior at Wexford-Missaukee Intermediate School District Lindsey Ruppert says exploring her school forest is a great opportunity. “You get to take what you learn in the classroom and actually get the hands on experience outdoors, and it’s a lot better than being in the classroom all day.
In a recent poll by the Missaukee Conservation District, only some Wexford-Missaukee intermediate school district teachers know that they have this outdoor resource. That’s why the Missaukee Conservation District wants to raise awareness and help teachers for all ages take their lessons out of the classroom.
Andrea Mayer, education coordinator at the Missaukee Conservation District, says Johnson’s school forest is well advanced. She’s hoping to open the doors to more schools who are curious about their school forest.
“I usually always see a light bulb in those kids who may not be participating in class, they get out, they have fun in the forest and they learn,” says Mayer.
For more information about the Missaukee Conservation District and their mission, click here.