In 1928, Wisconsin established the first school forest program in the nation. At that time, the goal of school forests was to encourage student involvement in replanting forests and to instill a conservation ethic in young people. Today, school forests are a remarkable educational resource that is available to help meet state and core education standards, serve as a focus to integrate environmental education into the curriculum, strengthen school-community relations, and demonstrate sustainable natural resource management.
School forests are a particular kind of community forest owned or controlled by school districts. The School and Community Forest Law allows schools, villages, cities, and towns to own land and practice forestry. The first community forest law was passed in 1927. The law was updated in 1949 and 1965. Official text of the law can be found in Wisconsin State Statutes Section 20 of Chapter 28. The program, originally started in 1927, has registered over 27,000 acres of school forest land for 255 schools in the state.
More About Wisconsin’s School Forests History
Interactive Wisconsin School Forest Map: This map depicts the location and boundaries of the school forest lands registered in Wisconsin with the LEAF- Wisconsin’s K-12 Forestry Education Program.
School Forest Database PDF: The registered school forest list includes the name, number of acres, location, management plan and education plan dates for each registered school forest in Wisconsin.