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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Conserve School

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Environment, Environmental Education, Secondary & High Schools

Mission: Conserve School inspires young people to environmental stewardship through academics and engagement with the forests, lakes, and wildlife of Lowenwood. Conserve School is a non-sectarian school aimed at students who feel a strong attachment to the natural world and who are motivated to conserve it. This semester-long immersion in environmental studies and outdoor activities deepens students’ love of nature, reinforces their commitment to conservation, and equips them to take meaningful action as environmental stewards. The program interweaves college-preparatory academics with: the study of environmental history, nature literature, and the science of conservation, environmental service work, exploration of careers related to conservation, training in teamwork and leadership, and engagement with the outdoors. Designed primarily for high school juniors, Conserve School incorporates the flexibility to accommodate advanced sophomores. Conserve School students become part of a community that heightens their sense of identity and self-worth and imparts the confidence they need to go forward and make a difference, not only as stewards of the environment, but also as stewards of their own destinies.

Results: Conserve School has positively impacted the lives of 100's of students from across the United States. Conserve School has been accredited by the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI), an accreditation division of AdvancED. Conserve School is a 2014 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Awardee.

Target demographics: high school sophomores and juniors

Direct beneficiaries per year: 120 students.

Geographic areas served: United States

Programs: a semester school for high school students designed to inspire them to become environmental stewards while spending a sixteen weeks living and learning on our 1200 acre wilderness campus.

Community Stories

82 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

15 Tara45

Client Served

Rating: 5

Most amazing experience a passionate high-schooler can have. The teachers are caring and friendly, the classes interesting and focused, and the community feel is so welcoming and kind. This school changed me from a regular girl into an energetic young adult full of life, and willing to devote that life to environmental protection, finding sustainable and creative solutions for problems, and caring so much about the natural world. I thank Conserve so much for giving me the time of my life; and I highly recommend this school to any youngster who cares about the environment, wants to make a difference, and loves the natural world.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Wish I could add another star to the five star rating cuz I'd give it six stars or more!! Conserve school is by far hands down an exceptional learning experience.. they nurture and truely care for the children, they have an excellent staff that truly cares about the students as they grow to be self reliant young adults. The facilities are top-notch and the bonus is the Outdoor Learning environment. It definitely had a very positive and lasting effect on our son as he ventured on his path toward adulthood while he attended Conserve. I would have no qualms about recommending Conserve to any future student interested in the Outdoor Environmental Learning experience.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Attending semester 14 was one of the best decisions I've ever made. I left with incredible friendships, positive relationships formed with teachers and other adults, lots of love I had developed for the campus, and a commitment to being an environmental steward. This experience is like no other, I could not be more grateful I found out about it. Conserve School will be somewhere I hold dearly in my heart for many years to come. I hope many other students continue to be able to have this extraordinary experience.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The fact that this experience was open to our daughter through the financial gifts and commitment of the board to keeping it financially accessible to all students continues to astound me. We are grateful that she was able to be part of this beautiful learning environment that nurtured her spirit, mind, and body in community! Looking for ways the school can take bold steps toward reflecting demographics of young people and growing diversity. Love is school and vision and opportunity!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Conserve School was life-changing for my daughter. She ended up writing one of her college admissions essays about the sense of community she found there. I am so grateful she had this opportunity and would wholeheartedly recommend it to prospective families.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Conserve School is an amazing school. Our daughter is currently attending semester 15. It is the best school I have ever been to and I have been teaching 25 years in four different states. She is growing as a student and more important as a person. She is learning to be independent and gaining confidence and learning self reliance. And most important she is learning to appreciate and care for our home, planet Earth.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter arrived at Conserve School as a shy, insecure teen. Over the course of 4 months, she had transformed into a confident young woman. Conserve gave her room to grow and find herself, and the support she needed along the way. The teachers and classes are top notch, but the education goes far beyond the classroom. Conserve School provides a transformative, life-changing experience for a that can be found nowhere else. Best decision that we ever made for our daughter.

Erin S.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Conserve School is the place to be if you are a young person who is passionate about nature. It is a stepping atom to success!

1 Anika B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This school honestly changed my life. In highschool, I just wanted to go to boarding school for a bit, I really was not that in to nature. The thought-provoking classes and caring community swiftly crafted me into a true environmentalist and outdoors-woman for life. I had an "a-ha" moment in the AP enviro class that made me realize I was lucky enough to have the chance to learn about the environmental problems that effect literally every living thing on the planet, and that it is my duty to improve these conditions. I am incredibly devoted to the outdoors now, it is the only thing I do with my free time anymore. I can genuinely say that connecting to nature and community at conserve school changed the course of my life and made me a happier version of myself than I think I could have achieved at a regular school.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

We just spent the weekend visiting our daughter at Conserve School. It is an absolutely amazing gem. It nurtures dynamic, caring young people who are passionate about the environment, with excellent teachers and a well-run, responsive, and friendly administration. And the setting is just gorgeous. It will have a lasting impact on all of the students, and so will undoubtedly impact our world.

September E.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter was fortunate to be a part of CS5 the fall of 2012, and we are both truly grateful to Conserve School and the staff for this opportunity. Please feel free to read about Tessa's experience: http://www.westfargopioneer.com/news/439576-fostering-passion-protecting-environment-chambers-attends-conserve-school

Tessa is currently a junior attending Swarthmore College. Thank you Conserve School!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was lucky enough to spend the weekend at Conserve School for parents weekend. I was able to shadow classes and the way that the staff interacted with students was so impressive to me. It's clear that they see these students as able learners, worthy of respect. Clearly the students think that of the teachers as well. It took a lot for me to leave my child here, and they acknowledged that and have done such a wonderful job in not only teaching, but inspiring the students to see themselves as capable of so much more than they may have possibly been awarded in their home schools. I know my child looks at this experience as a true blessing and after being there for the weekend, I can't imagine a better place to spend time learning about nature, conservation - and a little bit more about oneself along the way. What an amazing experience!

1 Samantha D.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Great opprotunity! I was a student during CS1. I constantly talk about my time at Conserve and that was over 5 years ago that I attended during high school. This school has an amazing purpose and culivates community. The environmental focus is awesome and very enlightening. The school and students work hard to promote sustainbilty in all aspects. The impact this non profit has on it’s students and the environment is immeasurable. I will keep the experiences and knowledge and relationships I created here for the rest of my life. I will continue to cultivate the same environmental values and principles in my life and persue to educate others.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Conserve School changed my life. It absolutely inspired me to be my best self and follow a passionate path as an environmental steward. I will be forever grateful to all the staff and wonderful people I met during my time at conserve.

1 Lisa S.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

A terrific experience for a high schooler. My child has gained confidence along with new friends, a great education in a beautiful setting and a focus on what environmental discipline she wants to study in college.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Conserve School is a place where high schoolers who have nature in their heart can be true to themselves. I had the pleasure of observing an English class, history class and art class. Not only are the teachers experts in their content areas, but they are also masters in the art of teaching. All of the staff work together to create a climate of warmth and caring as well as academic challenge. My daughter attended Conserve school and I agree with the motto, "One semester can make a world of difference."

2 Kendall S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My experience at Conseve School in Semester 1, Summer 2010 was truly life changing. To be surrounded by beautiful Northern Wisconsin forests and lakes, and also some of the most inspiring students and staff alike, shaped me into a better advocate for nature, and a better person in general. Exploration Week at Conserve school consisted of a week backpacking in the Porcupine Mountains, but almost every other course during my semester there enveloped the outdoors in some way, whether reading about Shackleton in history class, or discussing lichen in AP environmental science; I learned more at Conserve in 4 months than most of my other 3 years in high school.

2 Anita F.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Just visited my grandson and I was so impressed with the academic and extracurricular programs at this one of a kind School. This is a dedicated community of students and staff where learning and making this a better world are paramount.

2 Maribel J.

Donor

Rating: 5

Our daughter spent a semester at Conserve school and it was the best experience of her life. Not only it helped her to become more independent but it gave her all the skills and tools she needed to become a true environmental stewardship.
She now runs a Green Club at her school and leads a number of initiatives to protect our environment and to help others in need.
We are ever so grateful to everyone who made this experience possible and in particular all her teachers who shared their vision and talent with her.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was a student at Conserve in 2014 and absolutely loved my experience. I would not be where I am today if I had not pursued this opportunity and I am very grateful to the amazing faculty and staff for the experiences they provided. I miss it every single day! It is the perfect school for students interested in environmental science, sustainability and outdoor education. Thank you!

3 Jackie G.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I attended Conserve in their first semester as a semester school, (CS1) and had the best time of my life. The staff, facilities, curriculum, and campus grounds are utterly fantastic. We read from Lewis and Clark's journals as we crafted our own dugout canoe, we cross-country skiied, we canoed into the Sylvania Wilderness during Exploration Week, and we learned to T-Rescue our classmates should our canoes or kayaks capsize. We climbed trees and read from wilderness writers within their branches. We aided in the collection of an endangered trout species for Wisconsin's fisheries, became wilderness first aid certified, maintained trails and linedanced. We learned about beekeeping, tracked wolves with a local biologist, wrote stories about the creatures lurking within Lowenwood's depths. We watched the stars pass overhead on clear nights, we made intimate friendships and learned more about the world than we could have imagined. Conserve is an incredible place and I want to thank them for the opportunities, worldview, adventures and experiences they have given me. I will carry the memories and skills I gained here with me for the rest of my life. Thank you.