Last week's beautiful weather lent itself wonderfully to the outdoor weaving, Earth Art, project in the commons.
Herbivores, omnivores and carnivores, predators and prey, this is "Life and Death in the Forest." Read about this outdoor science lesson.
Annie Birkeland (CS4) explores the wonders, beauties, and dangers of ocean freediving.
Math students got out of the classroom last week and went outside and into the woods to use fractals for measuring ferns.
Conserve School has adopted a segment of the NCT in The Trapp Hills region of Upper Michigan. Students volunteer to help maintain the trail.
Xander Martin (CS4) Mobilizes Colorado’s Outdoor Industry into a Political Force working for the Jared Polis for Governor campaign.
Michael and Jeff, History and English teachers respectively combined lessons both in the classroom and on the Lowenwood Estate to rewrite "The Wilderness Act."
Art teachers, Robert and Nancy kicked off the semester with a tea ceremony introducing students to crafts and natural materials used in art around the world.
This week in science class, CS17 made the first step towards building a long term monitoring plan of white tail deer population on campus.
English Teacher, Jeff Rennicke, takes time to tackle the relationship we all have with fear in the wilderness in a lesson called, "The Trail of Eyes."
Head of School, Stefan Anderson, writes about the community curriculum and opportunities for student support at Conserve School.
In Stewardship class students harvested wild edibles, made delicious recipes, and came up with their own guidelines for harvesting with respect and for sustainability.
Our new English Teaching Fellow, Noah, from Detroit has shared a journal entry from his first camping trip in the Sylvania Wilderness during a staff training expedition.
An introduction to Conserve School's new nine member board of trustees.
Ahmae Epstein, CS11 Alum, describes how Conserve School ignited her passion for Alaska and made her determined to witness it with her own eyes.
Our Spanish language teacher, Kathleen, taught a lesson in mindfulness entirely in Spanish to encourage both listening and thinking in Spanish.
Rye Amos (CS15) speaks in her own words of discovering her strengths through hard work on a stint with the Student Conservation Association.
Conserve School participated in the Click Youth Media Festival this summer at University of Wisconsin, Madison.
CS1 Alum, Marshall Yaklin commissioned as an Ensign in the United States Navy. Recently having completed primary flight training, Marshall shares his story.
Tara (CS10) tells the tale of a summer at Wind Dance Farm and Earth Education Center
Ryan Clark, CS6 Alum describes the thrill of his newfound love: skydiving.
The summer residency for UW-Steven Point's new Doctorate of Education in Education Sustainability took place at Conserve School. Doctoral students from California, Rhode Island, Maryland, Beijing and Wisconsin met to present what they learned in the first year of their program.
From June 10th to the 14th teachers from semester schools around the country converged at Conserve School for the third annual Semester Schools Teachers' Conference.
The final moments of any meaningful experience are important and can often be filled with emotion. Read about and see photos and video from the CS16 Semester Celebration and Recognition Ceremony.
Read about changes to the board of the Conserve School Trust coming this fall.
Spring is a time of rebirth and renewal as well as transitions. All of us at Conserve School congratulate the graduates.
THE SOUNDS OF SILENCE: CS15 Alum, Majenta Stuntebeck wins writing award with her essay inspired by the beauty and silence of Conserve School's campus.
CS12 Alum, Miranda Ulrichs is turning a love of wolves and hard work into an internship with a wolf sanctuary in the Colorado mountains.
...the power of the solo experience becomes clear. Through spending over 24 hours in a single area, some of the more intricate workings of this campus became familiar.
Standing on Fisher Lake in Sylvania, squinting as the wind whipped snow into my face, I felt incredibly humbled. The magnitude of the stillness and the harsh and unforgiving solitude gave me pause. I felt small and insignificant.
... I feel like I understand myself better and have a clearer view of my own passions and aspirations. I'm excited to further my work as an environmental steward and apply what I've learned at Conserve to my hometown and all other communities and places I live...
What do History, English, and the famous Five Lake Loop have to do with each other? Read about the much anticipated and loved day of hiking and portaging to five different lakes in the Sylvania Wilderness!
Students attended a Conserve School Film Festival earlier this spring in the auditorium. It was a themed, three-block, film-fest with sixteen different short films, four trailers, and one feature length film with the filmmaker doing a talk-back.
To further promote our roles as environmental stewards, CS16 participated in a full day dedicated to developing an environmental stewardship project on "Stewardship Activity Day."
In the name of science, a new staff-member, from warmer climates, me, Kate Houle, experienced winter camping in the northwoods for the first time alongside students and some very experienced staff trip leaders.
Solo camping is an important part of the Conserve School experience.
Nyika Campbell, CS8 Alum attends the University of CO Boulder, her art inspires us to look closely and to appreciate the creativity in each piece. Sometimes a visual story speaks for itself. Thank you to Nyika for sharing her work. We continue to be inspired by our alums and the work they are doing.
This semester, we tapped and collected sap from maple trees that are probably ancestors of trees that were traditionally tapped by the Ojibwe. In the late spring and fall, we paddle lakes that were first navigated by the Ojibwe.
"You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make." --Jane Goodall
Not all college paths are created equal. CS4 alum Mikaylo Kelly has designed his own special major called "Food Justice" at Augustana College to explore the ever-changing human relationship with food: what we eat, how it is produced, and the impact it has on the earth.
As a journalist, Mills creates opportunities for peoples' stories to be shared with others so that the face of the outdoors is more diverse.
My land ethic will be centered around the conservative use of depletable resources and the preservation of beautiful wildlife that has been and will remain untouched.
I developed my personal land ethic: broadly speaking, a belief that as long as we rely on the the environment and wilderness for pleasure and as a resource, we have a duty to safeguard it.
A look at how to create the foundation to build life long environmentally minded citizens.
CS16 student and leader, Ken from Beloit, WI. organized the March 14th walkout at Conserve School in solidarity with schools around the country. Here is a powerful poem that he wrote reflecting on the experience.
"Felt knowledge, History, English and Spirit Guides; using their muscles, their imaginations, their brains, and their ... spirits, through art, reading, discussion, and living their lessons."
CS2 Alum, Maria Doerr is making a difference. Her dedication to environmental communication and working to fight climate change is one we can all learn from.
Eight adventurous students and two teacher trip leaders navigated through the Sylvania on a winter camping trip traversing from a Michigan drop-off point all the way back to Conserve School campus.
CS16 held Family Weekend March 9 through the 11th on the snowy, beautiful Conserve School campus. Families had many opportunities to experience a slice of the life their students live every day at Conserve School.
As we enjoy the sweet treat of the maple syrup throughout spring we can reflect on the CS16 Maple Syruping Celebration, the Ojibwe people of this area, and the importance of connecting to the land.
A day of skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, chili lunch and a campfire at Conserve School. Our Lowenwood trails will be groomed and ready for a day of winter magic.
Teaching fellows went on a learning trip to Treehaven, to learn as well as assist with adaptive environmental education lessons for vision impaired youth.
Today marks the beginning of the fifth week for the students of Conserve School semester 16. Over the past 31 days the students have moved from a tentative group of strangers to a close knit group of friends. I have appreciated the chance to observe this evolution.
CS12 Alum heads to Israel for The Champions of the Flyway bird race.
CS13 Alum, Sophia Butkiewicz making a difference working to change our education system and the next generation of students.
Unlike an igloo that is made up of blocks of hard snow, a quinzee is essentially a pile of snow that is formed by shoveling snow into a mound, compacting it, then letting it settle. In an Outdoor Skills workshop about 20 students helped create these winter structures.
Students at Conserve School, as part of their AP Environmental Science class, keep a Phenology Journal. As the seasons change during the four month long semester, they journal and use visual art, like sketching and photography to record their observations.
At Conserve School, we consider how to reduce the waste of natural resources. For this project in particular, with the lush green of the balsam fir branches, we wanted to use this resource to make handmade art.
A special event for the town of Land O' Lakes, many locals and visitors gather to support Sled Dog racing teams. Also an especially memorable weekend for Conserve School students as they volunteer and learn about the unique winter sport of Dog Sledding.
In this Stewardship Seminar, students sustainably harvested White Pine, Balsam Fir, Eastern Hemlock, and Northern White Cedar to make winter teas.
Meeting new friends, the anticipation of great adventures, and sharing our campus with new students means the semester has begun! Orientation Weekend is an exciting time for both staff and students.
We close each semester with celebration, ceremony and some tearful goodbyes. There is a delicious feast, some parting gifts, and words of wisdom as students prepare for their next chapter.
I wanted these photos to focus on one single subject, rather than looking at the bigger picture. Conserve School has taught me to examine the details, single cogs in a much larger machine.
I have felt myself adapt and seen the world around me change. I have tried to capture this transition in my photography.
The past month has been a busy one as Conserve School has moved from a tearful goodbye for the students of semester 15 to the intensely busy work of refreshing the campus for the arrival of the semester 16 students. I have often heard comments about how great it must be to work at Conserve School with such nice relaxing breaks between the semesters. This month I would like to share with you a bit of how staff have been spending that "relaxing time".
In this hands-on, experiential course we explore the role of photography in nature appreciation, art, and activism using the natural setting of the Conserve School campus and the nearby Sylvania Wilderness as our subject.
Seven Conserve School students and two Conserve School staff, had the opportunity to visit the Keewanaw Bay Indian Community's Natural Resources Department the first weekend of December.
Bringing our Alums together twice a year the stories and friendships pickup right where they left off.
Pedaling for Power: CS3 alumi Katie Ledermann completes a bicycle ride across the country to raise awareness of the importance of our public lands. Click here to read Katie's story of her journey.
The bonding, the warmth, the creativity, good conversation, camaraderie and laughter were fueled by homemade treats and the satisfaction of making and creating with our own hands.
Currently a contestant for the Fjällräven Polar, Elijah may have the opportunity to participate in a 300 km dog sled journey in Norway and Sweden.
"Lumberjack lessons and events have widened my idea of what outdoor skills are. I used to think that outdoor skills just included things like backpacking, rock climbing and canoeing, but really there so much more."
CS14 Alum, using words and photos to bring awareness to our climate and environment.
"This open house had staff and guests share about their professional, academic, and recreational experiences related to environmental stewardship."
"CS15 students did an incredible job considering the needs of the social and ecological communities of Conserve School and made appropriate steps to plan, organize and implement their projects on Stewardship Activity Day."
"Having a class Taking Action Project gave me an idea of what it would be like to start my own personal Taking Action Project."
Foresters and national competitors in lumberjacking, including CS teaching fellow, Kate Witkowski, shared their skills, talents and knowledge with students in on a snow-covered field at Conserve School.
On November 2, six students participated in a Conserve School project at the apiary to tend to the bees.
Connecting through shared gratitude for the land and each other: Students went for a walk on Lowenwood to reflect on how being present in a moment is a form of gratitude.
Earth Fest week at Conserve School always wraps up with a special dinner. This fall's meal was planned by the Conserve School students using recipes from home.
"The photos from the simple camera I traveled with will be visual aids to all my peers and to me in the future, showing what we need to fight so hard to preserve and continue enjoying for our generation and generations to come."
Logs fuel the fire as students listen to the presentation on chaga in the northwoods. Beloved campus dog, Oliver, attended the seminar as a special guest.
Stewardship Guest Speakers Mark Voss, Augie Voss, and Bailey Sargent: Sustainable Agriculture (Mark Voss) Stewardship and CS Alums (Augie and Bailey) - A look at what they've accomplished since attending Conserve School.
Inspired by a guest speaker, some CS15 students made repairing bat boxes their Taking Action Project.
"I felt very much at peace there; to me, it was the kind of place where I felt I could stay for a long time. It also stood out as a place worth protecting."
"I was able to appreciate nature by seeing it new ways; getting comfortable with darkness, and making sure I noticed nature's beauty by looking up."
Exploration Week is a time of connecting to nature, physical challenge, bond building, reflection, personal discovery and so much more!
Sometimes a challenging hike can become a metaphor for life.
Anevay knew she needed to slow down and be aware of her survival needs in order to gain a sense of belonging in the wilderness.
A film about keeping public lands in public hands.
Rowen sought appreciation, community and mystery. He found it in his land ethic on Exploration Week.
Prior to Exploration Week, Emilia had an "objective revelation" that was the source of some anxiety. She decided to work it out in nature.
One student's story about personal discovery on Exploration Week in the Sylvania Wilderness.
An after school activity where students learned screen printing and discussed the relationship between art and advocacy.
Conserve Students all take a physical education course entitled "Outdoors Skills." It's not a typical high school class!
In a recent after school activity, CS students gathered wild rice on the Ontonagon River near Watersmeet, MI.
Working for solutions for Climate Change
This is what stewardship and taking action looks like.
CS13 Alum, Clay Parmley, Apprentice work with deadly snakes.
On move-in day, each CS15 student was asked to write on a white board something they celebrate or would like to celebrate.
On Friday August 18, 2017 Conserve School welcomed 59 students for semester 15 (CS15).
New Way teaches that Love > Fear, and there IS power in Love.
CS1 Alum, Emma Doden taking the "wildlife" in her degree seriously.
CS3 Alum Katie Lederman biking for America's Public Lands
Megs Seeley, Graduation from UW Madison, summer job in Yosemite National Park and the 2017 SheAdventures Scholar
Being a good neighbor is important to Conserve School. Throughout the school year there are several community service opportunities that Conserve School supports by providing opportunities for students to help out at.
Conserve School students spent an afternoon in English and history class paddling through the Sylvania Wilderness in the style of the Corps of Discovery from 1805 and looking ahead to 2064, the 100th anniversary of the Wilderness Act.
Each semester a day is devoted to giving back to Conserve School in the form of stewardship. This spring, students spent half of the day working on permaculture projects in the garden and the other half pulling invasive species.
Each semester Conserve School has a designated Earth Week. This spring Earth Week was held on April 17 - 21st with the theme being " Water is Life."
CS4 Student Explores the Political Arena Through Internship.
This past week all students were invited to a Stewardship Syruping Celebration to participate in a traditional Ojibwe Syruping Ceremony and help tap maple trees to get syrup for the dining hall.
Heightening the global awareness with children from Madison and Guatemala.
On move-in day, CS14 Students and Staff used one word to describe what Nature Is. Open up this post to see a slideshow of students and some staff members with their word.
Sarah awarded Nancy Klamm Award best undergraduate poster at the Wilson Ornithological Society
Kevin Geisen gains international skiing experience in Kazakhstan.
Spanish classes at Conserve School routinely incorporate lessons that are done outside, in our natural world.
CS4 Alum Mikaylo Kelly makes his voice heard through A Peace of My Mind
CS1 Alum feeding the flames of her passion aboard a research vessel in San Francisco Bay
Dogsledding is in the blood and a family tradition for CS13 Alum Emma Thiel.
I just started a position through the Pathways intern program on the Ottawa National Forest in Watersmeet MI.
CS1 Alum, Alex Noll, is a first year law student at the University of Michigan Law School who is studying environmental law.
In combined English and History classes last week, Conserve School students explored the power of exploration, art and their role in politics.
Conserve School designated November 7-11th as Earth Week. After school seminars and a day of workshops around the theme of "The Night Sky," were infused into the week.
Conserve Teachers and Administrators had a chance to attend the North America Association for Environmental Education Conference in Madison in October.
What do the bogs tell us? What are in the bogs? What are some folklore about bogs?
A glimpse into the first week of Spanish class.
Sometimes the best way to understand literature is to set the book aside and cut to the chase.
Math teacher Caitlin Lemley and Teaching Fellow Maria Lee recently took a group of students on a weekend camping trip.
History students are challenged to become William Clark for a day and see how accurate they can be in creating a map on campus.
The AP Environmental Science Class has been learning about Field Work and Data Analysis.
On Thursday evening, September 1st, Conserve School students and staff were fortunate to again witness an impressive display of Northern Lights.
Morgan England (CS11) spent two weeks of her summer as part of the Environmental Leadership Lab in Alaska.
Chad Roberts (CS9) and Naomi Orchard (CS9) spent the summer working at the Moab Adventure Center in Moab, Utah.
Kira Minehart (CS1), graduate of Stanford University, is headed to the Grand Canyon for the summer to work for the National Park Service as a geoscience educator.