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FernLeaf Community Charter School outdoor and environmental education
The FernLeaf community greatly values the outdoors and ensures that each student has the time and space to explore the natural world each day.

We seek to integrate an appreciation for the natural world in everything we do, therefore guiding students to become leaders in taking care of our environment and surroundings. This is often done by encouraging students to follow their natural curiosity and wonder while outdoors. By incorporating project-based learning with time to play, to create, and to socialize outdoors into students’ everyday lives, we seek to create well-rounded adults equipped to be good stewards of our precious world.

FernLeaf students generally have 1.5+ hours of outdoor time each school day. We believe that there is no bad weather, just bad gear. The outdoors is a critical part of recreation in our mountain home and, the Blue Ridge Mountains as a temperate rainforest, boasts one of the most extensive bio-diversities outside of the Amazon rainforest!


Some examples of our outdoor & environmental programming include:
  • Outdoor Education class offered to all students which includes exploring WNC’s incredible biodiversity, hiking and camping skills, and mindful observation of the natural world.

  • Fieldwork to local state and national forests - including an annual, all-school trip to hike Bearwallow Mountain, as well as overnight camping trips.

  • School-wide composting program created and maintained by our students.

  • A large school garden used for everything from growing snacks to raising monarch caterpillars.

  • Kindergarten classes raise, tag and release monarch and swallowtail butterflies.

  • Students spend time in outdoor spaces all over our Creek Campus including: play spaces, outdoor classrooms, an obstacle course, picnic tables, a fire pit, an outdoor stage and a greenhouse.

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