Burlington School Forest - Burlington Wisconsin - August 2020

One of the activities that we've been doing with the kids this Summer is spending time on walks (or...maybe some of you call them 'hikes') in state parks, on trails and in the forests.  I hesitate to call them hikes because there's VERY little elevation change and we're walking on trails.  After reading this piece about the difference between walking and hiking, I'm actually NOT SURE what we do.  But, it doesn't really matter. 

We've been all pulling up our tall socks, putting on our sneakers and going out on paths.  Both in Illinois (Waterfall Glen) and Wisconsin (Bong and Big Foot, mostly), we get out on trails and spend and hour or two getting into nature with the kids.  On one of our recent trips, Nat found a place called "Burlington School Forest" - which we had driven past a few times. 

Turns out, the local school district (K-12) in Burlington Wisconsin keeps a forest area for their students.  From the school district's site:

The Burlington Area School District maintains a School Forest as a natural environment dedicated to the educational use of the students of the District. A forest management plan, developed in cooperation with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will be maintained.

The 160-acre school forest is located on Highway J in the Town of Burlington. The area is located at what was part of the Richard Bong Air Force Base. The restoration of the forest began in 1964 when 22 acres were planted with 10,000 trees. The area is open to the public for bicycling, skiing, snowshoeing and mountain hiking.
Welp, we found that 160 acres and the map at the top of this post shows how they lay out their forest. 

Here below, is a screenshot of a cleaner version of that same map - or visit their pdf version here.

The different areas of the forest are decently well marked and the district has also put up some structures for what seems like classrooms.  They also - see below - have done a nice job of marking some of the species out in the forest to teach the kids what they're dealing with as they wander around. 

What a nice treat for the school district, the students and the community, right? 


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