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On The Horizon: Brookwood Forest School

Updated: May 17, 2023

Brookwood has a beautiful 30-acre campus surrounded by vernal ponds, the ocean, a thriving woodland, and it would benefit from an expanded space where children can truly immerse themselves in nature. That's why we are launching the Fund-A-Need initiative to create a Forest School, where students can learn and play while surrounded by the outdoors. This holistic space will support play, exploration, and risk taking where learner inspired, hands-on experiences are in a natural setting.

Our vision for the Forest School is to clear out a ropes course no longer in use and create an outdoor wonderland that will provide a unique learning experience for our students. The space will have a permanent canopy, moveable natural play and exploration elements, and a fire pit to teach bushcraft. Additionally, the hope is to install wooden sheds filled with equipment, create trails that connect the Forest School to other school spaces, connect to local trails, and build a viewing platform near the Cutler Pond.

To make this vision come to life, we have a fundraising goal of $100,000. This includes approximately $20,000 for clearing and safety reconstructing the old ropes course, $30,000 for purchasing equipment and storage sheds, $20,000 for training current faculty, and roughly $30,000 for a Sustainability Coordinator and science teacher to help run the Forest School and integrate this opportunity into our curriculum across all grade levels.

The Forest School will provide a hands-on learning experience that connects students with nature. They will have access to compasses, tarps to teach survival skills, tools to dig with, and magnifying instruments that allow our students to see the underside of insects and creatures. The school also hopes to install trail cameras that can be connected to our wifi to allow for self-contained screens, allowing children to see wildlife and their habitats without disturbing them.

In addition to benefiting our students, the Forest School will also benefit the community as a whole. It will be a space for campouts, bushcraft, athletics, cross country, mountain biking, after school and auxiliary programming. The interpretive trails and viewing platform on the pond will offer a unique way to explore and connect with nature on our expansive campus.

By donating to this Fund-A-Need initiative, you can help make this dream a reality. With a well-equipped Forest School environment and interpretive trails connecting the campus, we will be able to leverage our beautiful surroundings and provide a more approachable way for students to learn and explore. Your support is crucial in helping us create a lasting impact on our students and our greater community.

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