DNR Names Woods as School Forest

DNR Names Woods as School Forest Click to Enlarge Photo: Sartell School District

(KNSI) - Students in the Sartell-St. Stephen School District will have an outdoor classroom to learn from after a special designation from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Kids in grades 3-5 will start class in the fall at the newly renovated Riverview Intermediate School and will be able to use almost 60 acres of woods after the DNR classified the land a school forest.

The DNR says the woods are an outdoor classroom where teachers and students can explore the natural world as a means to teach core subjects such as math, science, reading, writing, geography, physical education, the arts, and others.

The land is surrounded by Sartell-St. Stephen’s original 1969 high school building (that will become Riverview Intermediate School for grades 3-5 beginning with the 2020-2021 school year), the 1993 building (that will become a grades 6-8 middle school), and Pine Meadow Elementary.

According to the DNR, Riverview Intermediate School joins over 135 other School Forests in the state.

The DNR shares that School Forests range from “less than one acre to 300 acres of land, for a total of over 8,000 acres.”

The School Forest program was established in state law in 1949.