Waterspot on School Forests

The School Forest Program  is a partnership between the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and schools that provide a variety of outdoor education activities. Dr. C.V. Hobson, a former Bemidji State University geography professor and state legislator, is credited with creating the School Forest concept and promoting the School Forest Law (MN Statutes, Section 89.41), authorizing, in 1949, public education institutions to establish and maintain school forests.

The program encourages educators to teach outdoors. Often, School Forest sites are an example of a healthy forest used for education and community recreation. Students learn and apply math, art, social studies, science, and language arts. Learning experiences include:

  • Life cycle of plants through multiples visits to the forest,
  • Invasive species in the forest
  • Photography and Bird watching,
  • Phenology (study of cyclic and seasonal natural phenomena),
  • Weather and the forest, and
  • Mapping.
Linwood School Forest

Linwood School Forest (Linwood Township)

School Forests involve a blend of rural and urban sites. School Forest sites are working toward the same goal of connecting students to the natural world while building student confidence, sense of community, skill level, and knowledge base. Currently there are more than 130 School Forests ranging in size from less than one acre to 300 acres of land. There are 9 School Forests in Anoka County:

  1. Jefferson Elementary, Blaine
  2. Westwood Intermediate School, Blaine
  3. Karner Blue Education Center, Circle Pines
  4. Columbus Elementary, Columbus
  5. Cedar Creek Community School, East Bethel
  6. East Bethel Community School , East Bethel
  7. Centennial Middle School , Lino Lakes
  8. Linwood Elementary, Linwood Township
  9. Ramsey Elementary, Ramsey

For more information or to establish a School Forest contact the DNR School Forest staff.

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