There is a 5 year partnership between the Northern Ozaukee School District and Riveredge Nature Center. Riveredge places an environmental educator to collaboration with teachers and staff as a key part of the district's team. Working with a hands-on approach with all staff to reduce barriers to outdoor learning.
Our outdoor space known as the NOSD School Forest was created to get students outside to learn about the area around them creating a sense of place. It was created in 1973 and was dedicated to Mark Montaba, a former Ozaukee High School Science teacher in 1997.
The Ozaukee Elementary School playground, in conjunction with areas surrounding that space, are transforming into the NOSD Backyard. This space will be one where students in all grades 4k-12th will engage in outdoor learning activities. The transformation of this space is a multi-year project.
It has been awesome to see the growth of outdoor learning in the Northern Ozaukee School District. We are fortunate to have our school forest and grounds that allow students to be out in nature and learning outside our four walls.
-Dave Karrels, NOSD Superintendent
I had the honor of working with Mark Montaba, our Nature Center namesake, when I was first employed at NOSD. He is a passionate, professional educator who brought outdoor education to life for his students. When Rachel Race became our Scientist in Residence and created the Outdoor Learning Committee, I felt joining was the best way to honor Mark's legacy. Rachel's enthusiasm, expertise and leadership have provided our district with a valuable scientific and educational resource. Under her guidance, a number of committed school and community members have joined forces to upgrade and expand our campus nature environments. It has been a sincere pleasure and privilege to contribute to this vital effort. An effort that honors the vision of our founders and the promise of our future.
- Andy Gremminger, OHS School Counselor
Through the Scientist in Resident Program, I have been able to engage my students outdoors, without being overwhelmed by the amount of time it would take to prepare to set up outside.
The students are continuously developing an appreciation for nature while still learning skills taught in a traditional classroom.
The NOSD backyard gives students an opportunity to problem solve and cooperate while using natural building materials. The students have been very creative in ways to use the stick building area.