Outdoor education can be beneficial to students in acquiring academic and artistic skills. To provide those benefits to the students of the School District of Black River Falls, the district owns and manages a 40-acre forest in the town of Brockway.
SDBRF teacher Dan Nortman, school forest coordinator since 2007, will present a program about the facility at the Wednesday, March 14, Friends of the Black River meeting. The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the Jackson County Bank Community Room.
A 1993 Black River Falls High School graduate, Nortman attended UW-Stevens Point majoring in elementary education.
After earning his degree, Nortman taught in Wisconsin Rapids for two years before returning to in School District of Black River Falls as a teacher for the past 18 years.
“Attending school in BRF, I have fond memories of going to the school forest in elementary and high school,” Nortman said. “Netting and banding birds with Mr. Rensick in elementary school is something I will remember forever as well as going to the forest with Mr. Stevens in high school to do forest management activities. Because of these experiences, I have always been interested in learning outdoors and feel very fortunate to be a part of our school forest today.”
The school forest lies within the school district boundaries, surrounded by Jackson County forest land. The SDBRF created a School Forest Advisory Committee in 2002; the committee works to continue natural resource management and educational programming improvement of the land.
Before becoming an outdoor education facility, the land was use as a landfill for the city of Black River Falls and the towns of Adams, Albion and Brockway.
Environmental education can integrate education concepts such as art, technology, music and physical education. Good environmental education programs can foster academic, creative, problem solving and analytical skills as well as character and community-mindedness, qualities valued in all careers.
Nortman will talk about how the school district incorporates educational sessions held at the forest and the various topics and lessons covered in the outdoor classroom.
The meeting is free and the public is encouraged to attend. For more information, email email@example.com.