Professional Development for School Forest Educators

School Forest In-services

School district in-services can be customized to fit the specific needs to
enhance educational PDGoodman.pngexperiences at your school forest. Take advantage of this professional development opportunity for your staff whether you have a new school forest and want to introduce educators to your newly registered property or to provide in-depth resources for teachers in a “veteran” school forest program. Ideally, we prefer at least 4 hours of time dedicated to the in-service, however, a 2 hour minimum in-service time is required.


UWSP NRES 624: Enhancing School Forest Education | 1 credit | Prerequisite: None

This online course will help you utilize your school forest as an outdoor classroom. You will become familiar with the forest, look closely at educational resources, and infuse your curriculum with lessons that can be taught at the school forest. The course will focus on the school forest ecosystem, invasive species, exploring how to connect your classroom curriculum to the school forest, environmental education resources and lessons, and community resources available for inclusion at the school forest. The participant will create a school forest field trip for their class as a culminating project.


UWSP NRES 622: School Forest Programs and Administration | 1 credit | Prerequisite: None

This course provides an overview of the Wisconsin School Forest Program. Emphasis is on planning and administration of school forests including: organizing a school forest committee, understanding property management plans, developing educational plans, and locating resources and financial support. This course is offered in a hybrid format. The main component of the course is offered on-line; however a one day face-to-face workshop is required. You can expect to spend approximately 20 - 25 hours on the course including reading, researching, field, workshop, and assignment time.

In this course participants will:

  • Examine the legislation and history of the school forest program
  • Explore the steps necessary to register a school forest and the responsibilities that come with registration
  • Review background information on environmental education
  • Explore how other selected school forests have developed and are running their programs
  • nalyze important initial steps to develop their school forest program
  • Gather information about the resources that exist at the school forest
  • Create an outline of a school forest master plan considering environmental education, natural resources management, and facilities
  • Develop an outline of their school forest education plan
  • Know where to get resources they need to develop their school forest program


LEAF Professional Development

The LEAF Program offers workshops, courses, and in-services as well for school districts that can apply directly to your work in the school forest. Check out the full-line of offerings here.


Contact Gretchen Marshall at or 715-346-2633 for more information about school forest professional development offerings.