With goals that include community education, community building, and caretaking, the Forestry Outreach Center of Berea College (FOC) provides a space in which people of all ages can learn about the natural world and, specifically, the Berea College Forest. “Using a model of community education in which each person participates as both a teacher and a learner,” the FOC explains, “our hope is that the Center will act as a bridge between College and community, fostering an attitude of stewardship of the lands and waters that sustain us.”
To this end, the FOC welcomes visitors to participate in engaging activities tailored to meet the needs of learners of all ages, including school and community groups. For no charge, the FOC offers interdisciplinary environmental education for school and community groups utilizing pre-designed activities (like those from award-winning EE curriculum guides such as Project Wild, Project Wet, and Project Learning Tree) or activities tailor-made for a class. The FOC team can also plan pre- and post- activities to help visitors make the most of their visit.
And what better place to enjoy those activities than the mountains surrounding Berea that are home to three of Kentucky’s beloved trails, the Pinnacles, Brushy Fork, and Anglin Falls? “Sharing a forest experience brings people together,” the FOC says, “and builds lasting relationships that strengthen communities.”
In addition to providing EE experiences for all, the FOC manages the Berea College Forest, maintaining and improving physical facilities while enhancing, studying, and utilizing varied sources including wood products, water, recreation, and wildlife. “Learning about forest lands, air, and water renews a sense of stewardship,” the FOC explains, “and reinvigorates a commitment to care for the earth.”
To learn more about Berea College’s Forestry Outreach Center, an organizational member of KAEE, visit their website and explore their social media accounts (and their Forest!).
By Leigh Cocanougher