Rensselaer Plateau Children's Forest
East of the Mississippi River, there are only four U.S. Forest Service-recognized children’s forests—in Georgia, Illinois, and Wisconsin. The Rensselaer Plateau Alliance is working with Dyken Pond Environmental Education Center, Grafton Lakes State Park and the schools of Rensselaer County to create the fifth, and the first of its kind in the Northeast.
Children’s Forests offer an array of programs supporting outdoor, environmental education (working to get “kids in the woods” and "every kid in a park," leaving “no child left inside.”). These initiatives are motivated by studies showing how time in nature improves health, attention spans, learning, and imagination. Research has also shown that environmental stewardship is an urgent priority that will need to be carried forward by today’s children.
As envisioned, the Rensselaer Plateau Children’s Forest will bring Rensselaer County elementary and secondary schoolchildren to three sites on the Plateau to pursue a variety of place based environmental education and long-term research projects. Children’s Forest programs will also host family-oriented programs, creating opportunities for children and their parents to experience the ecological wonders of the Rensselaer Plateau.
To get involved or learn more about the Children's Forest email: