4.5-acre Outdoor Learning and Discovery Project has been recognized as an official Certified Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation.
The property attracts a variety of birds, butterflies and other local animals by providing a wildlife-friendly landscape, including a mix of prairie, woodland and savannah. The land is adjacent to the Lake County Forest Preserves’ 25-acre Middlefork Savannah. The school's Discovery Project has been actively in development for many years, and completion of the remaining elements is scheduled for the 2012-2013 school year.
“For many years many people have contributed to creating and sustaining our school’s unique outdoor learning environment. Amidst today’s advances and draws to technology, Montessori philosophy avidly promotes the necessity of incorporating nature and the great outdoors in young people’s lives and education,” commented Mark Berger, executive director, Montessori School of Lake Forest. “Although we have known that our focus was right and good, this special recognition is both exciting and rewarding.”
The popular book “Last Child in the Woods” brought attention to the need for children to spend more time outdoors.
In order to become certified, a property must provide the four basic elements that all wildlife need: food, water, cover and places to raise young. In addition to providing for wildlife, certified habitats conserve natural resources by reducing or eliminating the need for fertilizers, pesticides, and/or irrigation water, which ultimately protect the air, soil and water throughout our communities.