The Garrison School held its annual School Forest Day on Monday, May 12, in celebration of Earth Day. The Garrison School Forest is 181 acres of beautiful land including the historically significant South Redoubt that was donated to the district for students and the community to learn about its history, the forest environment and the outdoors. School Forest Day is a day where students and teachers have the opportunity to enjoy this natural resource.
Leading up to the day, Garrison students participate in a School Forest Day assembly to help them understand and appreciate what the day is about. Fred Osborn spoke to the children about how they can be good stewards of the land. He shared his own family heritage about the School Forest and discussed the unique beauty of the Hudson Valley to help the children form an appreciation for where they live.
On School Forest Day, students have the opportunity to participate in fun and educational activities designed to enhance their awareness of the natural world around them. Kindergarten and first graders participated in a sensory activity and crafted “fairy houses.” Second graders also made “fairy houses” and engaged in a stream study. Third graders went on a compass-navigated nature scavenger hunt and spent time “reading the woods.”
Garrison School fourth graders took part in building shelters and fourth and fifth graders had the opportunity to make natural sculptures and fifth graders also participated in “reading the woods.”
Sixth graders participated in team-building activities and were treated to a survival skills program. Seventh and eighth graders learned orienteering in the School Forest and eighth graders took the lead as forest guides this year, helping students from the younger grades with activities. Parent volunteer Jenny Evans worked closely with the eighth-grade students to help them film and document the day.
This special day of School Forest activities was made possible due to generous donations by The Malcolm Gordon Trust, the Hudson Highlands Land Trust, Constitution Marsh, the Garrison Children’s Education Fund, the Garrison School Environmental Education Committee and the Garrison School PTA, as well as the hard work by the entire Garrison School Forest Committee, chaired by Trisha Mulligan, Pete Salmansohn and Julia Wynn.
“School Forest Day was a huge success thanks to the tireless efforts of the many educators and volunteers who gave of their time, talents and expertise to make this experience such an extraordinary event for all of the children at the Garrison School,” said Garrison School Principal Stephanie Impellittiere. “We are fortunate to have such a vibrant community of volunteers who make themselves available to enriching our students’ education.”