The McFarland School Forest, adjacent to Indian Mound Middle School, is a six-acre wooded area bordering marsh and wetlands. There are several tree species growing in the forest, including walnut, hickory, oak, silver maple and cherry. The forest is also home to animals and birds, including squirrels, deer, opossum, woodpeckers, owls, hawks and even a fox. From Exchange Street, the Jaeger hiking trail winds through the school forest and continues on to Indian Mound Park, which has areas of restored oak savannah, as well as a group of several Native American mounds. While the school forest has always been a part of the school property, its potential has only recently been explored for developing and using it as an "outdoor classroom" to enhance learning experiences in science and environmental studies. It was designated as a school forest in December 2006.
Click here to link to the School District Forest Page.
Over the past year the McFarland School District has been working with the DNR, in conjunction with the Village of McFarland, Ho-Chunk Nation, and the State Historical Society, on a forest management plan for this area. This 10-year plan, along with ongoing support from DNR experts and the WI School Forestry Program, will be a foundation for future decisions that will ensure the health and diversity of this ecosystem.
This plan will be presented at Village and School meetings for discussion and approval. Public input is welcome.
On Wednesday, April 18th, 2007 a special presentation and update on the school forest was given at the library. In case you missed it - here is a link to a "pdf" file of the presentation: