Earth Day, 2019

Occassional postings from Members, Partners, and Guests

I guess my outdoor exploration genes go back to my elementary school years. The family house was located on the edge of an abandoned field, which led down to some woods and a small creek. I spent a massive amount of time out there in all seasons, after scooting out the back door.

Decades later I taught 4th grade here in Madison and integrated much of the curriculum into environmental and nature issues. We usually went out to “the forest” five or six times a year – tenting in the campground, following the wonderful naturalists and working on service projects.

children's hands holding up a globe of the earth

Elementary children are now in a critical generation to understand Mother Earth – especially on issues of sustainability, ecologies, fresh water, climate and global finiteness. They must dive into these in their own age-appropriate realms. As adults of the near future, they will be advocates and decision-makers for a healthy Earth. The School Forest is a wonderful local or “home” setting to show the way.

It is a privilege to be a member of the Friends of the Madison School Forest; to help make available and preserve natural acreage for young people. The Friends welcomes members to expand our group!

Dave Spitzer, FOMSF Board Member

Friends of the School Forest Annual Meeting

  • When: Saturday, June 11, 10 am to Noon
  • Where: School Forest Campground, 1577 Fritz Road, Verona
  • Why: Get together with School Forest supporters for refreshments and annual updates, and stay for a hike in the School Forest or the FOSF Prairie.
  • Directions: Take the Mile 77 exit on Highway 18-151 West and turn to go south on Highway 69. Because Highway 69 is closed for construction, take the first right on to Valley Road. Then turn left on Sugar River Road, right on Riverside Road, and left on Fritz Road to the school campground on the right side of the road.

We’re looking forward getting together Saturday, June 11th – The FOMSF Board


Olson Oak Woods Workday – 2-5 pm on May 16

It’s spring (FINALLY). Wildflower blooms and singing birds celebrate this season of new beginnings. On May 16, join other volunteers in the Olson Oak Woods, a State Natural Area within the School Forest. Jared Urban, WDNR Conservation Biologist, is leading the workday. He’ll show us how to ID garlic mustard and how to remove it, and he’ll answer questions we have about the area.

We’ll meet at 2 pm at the School Forest Day Lot, 1660 Fritz Road, Verona.

Check out the flyer below for information on what to wear and what to bring. Call or email Jared if you’re planning to attend. Download your a copy for yourself and to share with friends who might like to help. Hope to see you on Monday, May 16th!

Bioblitz! Sunday, May 1, 1-4 pm

Madison School Forest Day Lot, 1680 Fritz Rd, Verona, WI

The City Nature Challenge is coming to the Madison School Forest! For the first time in Wisconsin history, we’ll join over 400 cities in collecting biodiversity data in this global partnership with the Nature Conservancy.

Everyone welcome – No experience needed! Staff from Madison School and Community Recreation (MSCR) and volunteers from the Friends of the Madison School Forest will get you started with maps, the iNaturalist app, ID skills, and observation sheets.

Registration encouraged, but not required. Click here to register.

More information

The City Nature Challenge BioBlitz brings together volunteer scientists, as well as families, students, teachers, and other members of the community. Around the globe, cities are in a collaboration-meets-friendly-competition to see not only what can be accomplished when we all work toward a common goal, but also which city can gather the most observations of nature, find the most species, and engage the most people in the event. For more about the project, click here.

Olson Oak Woods Workday – March 27, 2021

The Upper Sugar River Watershed Association is organizing a spring workday in the Olson Oak Woods State Natural Area, part of the Madison School Forest. The workday is on Saturday, March 27 from 9 am to noon. Volunteers will clear fire breaks and remove invasives – – maybe both at the same time! For more information and to register for the event, click here.

Many thanks to USRWA staff and volunteers for their stewardship of this special part of the Upper Sugar River watershed!