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2018 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

106 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.

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.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter is currently a student at Conserve School. I just returned from parent weekend and I’m still smiling. Conserve School is truly extraordinary. As a parent I was nervous about sending my daughter to another state and placing her under the care and direction of those I barely knew, however, I am beyond thankful that we took that leap of faith. The curriculum, environment, staff and students are all exceptional. The facilities and grounds are serenely optimal for learning. I spent three days on campus and I was struck with how impressive all of the students are. The students are engaging, creative, filled with a desire to learn, positive and extremely supportive of one another. Our daughter is beaming with happiness at Conserve School. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Conserve School founder James Lowenstine (and subsequent board of trustees) whose vision and generosity have allowed our daughter to have this experience.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Conserve School Semester 12 was the adventure of my lifetime. The things I learned, people I met, and experiences I had continue to inspire me and drive me forward in everything I do. It prepared me to take on any adventure that comes my way with a unique mindset, skill set, and appreciation for the world.
Absolutely could not recommend it enough.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Both of my daughters spent a semester at Conserve School. It was a fantastic experience for them; excellent teachers and classes in a beautiful setting.

2 Jill H.1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My daughter was recommended to this semester school by Tremont Institute in the Great Smoky Mountains. She had an incredible experience. She lived in a part of the country she had never been to before. She came away with an even stronger desire to protect the environment and history. She has since gone to a college with similar goals. This non profit allowed my child the experience of a lifetime that we could not have afforded to give her. Our planet's future needs schools like this. The classes, volunteering, and outdoor activities are remarkable. In the role below, I chose expert, as I am not only a parent, but also a professional Interpretive Naturalist.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I don't even know how to put into words all the good this place did for me at 16 years old. I was surrounded by wonderful people and beautiful nature, things I could never experience in a regular high school.

2 Mary Riley S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The defining experience of my life. It has led me to pursue a career in environmental biology, taken me to Africa to study wildlife and planted a passion for the outdoors in my soul. I miss it everyday, 4 years later. Lowenwood and Conserve School is nothing short of magical.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Conserve inspired me to make a change in the world and gave me hope for the future. It is truly the most amazing high school experience and it will impact everything I do. I made friends throughout the country and created memories beyond compare. Thanks for everything Conserve!

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Conserve school transformed my life! It was a truly amazing experiance where I learned so much about myself and Mother Earth. Every student should have the opportunity to be part of a community that cares so deeply about education and the earth. The connection between the two is inseparable.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Great school to engage kids. The teacher are passionate about what they are teaching and the students as well.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have always loved and respected nature and have tried to instill this passion in raising my children to be good stewards of the land they have been given. Our traditional school system offers little to continue this type of education. The Conserve school has an incredible environmentally based education program. Not only are their academics second to none they use it in a way to educate students in regards to the responsibility as stewards of this great Earth of ours, and have fun doing it!! I highly recommend this school to anyone who is interested in an outstanding educational experience.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter is a student at Conserve, and the experience has far exceeded my expectations. The education, the opportunities, and the quality of the staff are exceptional. She has had such fun and grown so much ... I am so grateful Conserve exists.

3 Loring C.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our sixteen year old daughter is currently a student at Conserve working on her junior year high school curriculum with a focus on the environment. She is absolutely loving her immersion experience at this boarding school. She is no stranger to environmental studies as all her academic schooling has followed this specialized focus. She reports to us that the caliber of teachers, the experiential classrooms and the dedication of the staff at Conserve is unparalleled. We rely on our daughter to report on the teachings of the school but as parents we can report that the school is very well run with an exceptional staff. All aspects of the school are top notch. We had never visited the school before we flew from CA to drop our daughter off, having applied on friends recommendations. Upon our arrival we were truly stunned at the beauty and care given to this place and the warmth and competency of all those who run the school. We think that this opportunity for students is an amazingly well kept secret that all should know about.

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

Tremendous educational opportunity for high school students with abiding lessons about stewardship and leadership to serve them and their communities their whole lives long.

4 Stacy74

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter has only been at Conserve School for a few weeks, but already she is developing a whole new outlook on nature, school and life in general. Conserve School provides an incredible, life-changing, transformative semester, and I'm thrilled that my daughter has the chance to participate in this amazing opportunity.

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter started her semester at Conserve School a few weeks ago. This school offers an incredible opportunity for young people from all over the country to learn about environmental stewardship together with others who share their interests. Everything about the enrollment process has been handled with such care and thoughtfulness. It's very obvious that the faculty and staff are dedicated to the students and the mission of this school. I feel confident that this will be one of the most amazing experiences of her life. It already is.

5 Ed__46

Client Served

Rating: 5

Outstanding exceptional learning experience for high school Juniors. Changed my daughters life!

8 bosquegirl

Client Served

Rating: 5

This semester program changed my life! I spent possibly the best 4.5 months of my life there in 2013 as a sophomore in high school. At Conserve we were outside everyday in our classes and with friends in a beautiful wilderness setting. We had group projects and activities planned on weekends, like a trip to the Rhinelander goodwill or just mountain biking the trails on campus. The opportunities and experience you get there will leave you centered and full of ideas for the rest of high school or college! The community aspect is huge because you are living and learning with 60 other people who will become your family, and the fact that we have diverse interests but all looked at the environmental issues of our time with critical minds for solutions. 10/10 would recommend it for all 11th and 10th graders- let yourself live outside and surrounded by friends while learning a lot!

Previous Stories
11

Client Served

Rating: 5

Conserve School was completely and surely the best 16 weeks of high school. At Conserve School I felt like I wasn't wasting my time on my own education, I was learning useful stuff, and I was having a good time! I learned so much at Conserve School, and more than just math or science, I learned how to do wilderness first aid, and how to live with 60 other kids in the middle of nowhere, I learned how to make my own fun! If you have the chance to attend Conserve School do it, it will be incredible!