Deliver Benefits to the Public

Snow days bring learning outside

Before we say goodbye to winter weather altogether, we want to take a moment and celebrate our “snow days.” We’re not talking about the snow days that cancel school, we’re talking about the snow days that take school outside! This past winter season, the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest, Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center and the Montana Discovery Foundation hosted 3,380 students through our SnowSchool and More Kids in the Woods programs.

SnowSchool allows students of all ages to explore the science of snow, winter ecology, wildlife winter adaptations and outdoor recreation atop snowshoes. The program can take place in the forest or in the schoolyard (or anywhere in between) to help connect youth to the outdoors and encourage their wonder of the natural world—regardless of their location. This winter, nearly 2,650 students participated in SnowSchool.

Through the More Kids in the Woods program, 730 sixth-grade students from the Great Falls, and surrounding communities, spent a full day on the forest learning about weather and climate, wildlife winter adaptations, tree identification and health, and compass and orienteering skills. The MKIW program helped cover the costs of buses to transport the students to and from the forest site that is located outside of Neihart, Montana.

A photo of Students from Boulder, Montana celebrating winter during their SnowSchool hike near Elkhorn Ghost town in February 2017.
Students from Boulder, Montana celebrating winter during their SnowSchool hike near Elkhorn Ghost town in February 2017. (All permissions have been granted).