"This was the best professional development day ever"
said a participant of our first workshop in the Woodland.
On April 15th 19 teachers from 8 districts participated in hands-on workshops specific to school forest education. The teachers represented grade levels k-12 and crossed all disciplines, from science, to music to technical education and physical education and in turn impact approximately2,109 students per year. 13 area school districts that have school forests within an hour of the FEC woodland were invited.
The Woodland served as a forest management and development model and demonstration site for area educators, to expand their forestry knowledge and learn ways to increase educational use of their lands, and better manage their own district’s school forest.
The workshop curriculum was coordinated and lead by Wisconsin’s School Forest Program Coordinator Gretchen Marshall of LEAF: Wisconsin’s K-12 Forestry Education Program and Director of Interpretive Development for the FEC, Julie Hein-Frank. DNR forester Mike Sieger, Anna Healy and Steve Hubbard from the DNR’s Forest Products Services Program held hands-on learning sessions about forest management and wood products.
"The Forest Exploration Center’s partnership provided a wonderful opportunity for Milwaukee area educators to gather in a centralized woodland that serves as a model for teachers to learn more about forestry, how to incorporate the forest into their classroom curriculum, and network with each other. This forest is unique in the Milwaukee area providing a host of learning opportunities” said Gretchen Marshall.
“This is very exciting for us” said Tom Chapman, president of the FEC board. “Launching this workshop was a great beginning as we grow our program offerings and opportunities for education in the Woodland. The Woodland provides the perfect classroom to learn and explore. In the future, as we improve recreational opportunities and site amenities, we plan to develop an FEC School to Forest Partnership where the Woodland is the classroom for area educators and their students who may not have access to a school forest. They will be able to visit and adopt the Woodland as their own special classroom to deepen their understanding of trees and the importance of forest management and forest ecology.”
This workshop was also in partnership with Wisconsin’s School Forest Program and LEAF: Wisconsin’s K-12 Forestry Education Program and Lake Ledge Naturalist, LLC
We’ll post some of the lesson ideas we shared that day.
The Forest Exploration Center is a nonprofit organization with a mission to create opportunities for education and recreation that deepen our understanding of trees, forest ecology and sustainable forestry best practices in Wisconsin.
The Forest Exploration Center