Forest School

Forest School is a new collaboration between Bellingham Public Schools and North Cascades Institute. Beginning in 2019, every 3rd grader in Bellingham will be guided by Institute program instructors in an exploration of the local forest ecosystem. The Institute provides content that compliments a larger classroom-based unit and supports Next Generation Science Standards.

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    This one day field trip takes place on the south end of Lake Whatcom at the Gordon Carter Conservation Site. Acquired by Bellingham Public Schools in 1954, the 130-acre site is an important — and beloved — community resource.

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    Program Staff

    Local college students and community members are trained by Institute staff to serve as instructors and role models. Forest School is as much a learning experience for future teachers as it is for the children.

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    In small groups students explore the forest through the perspective of an animal mascot. Whether building a nest for a flying squirrel, peering into decaying logs for beetle larvae, or drawing the woodpecker hotel of a snag, experiential lessons incorporate teamwork, problem-solving and creativity. Students use inquiry, observation, and reflection to investigate themes of habitats, adaptations and interdependence.

Teachers, Click here for Forest School Resources