Canyonville youngsters hike through Alder Creek Community Forest

CANYONVILLE, Ore. -- Fourth and fifth graders from Canyonville School trekked through the Alder Creek Community Forest Monday.

Alder Creek was privately owned by the Proctor family, but more than 10 years ago the family decided to make the forest available to the community.

"Eventually we inherited the land and decided to really devote it to community education," says Jim Proctor, forest co-founder.

A grant from the Gray Family Foundation has made it possible for students to explore nature, "and all of it is about getting outdoors, learning about this land that we love and then connecting it with the big earth," adds Proctor.

The field day is a pilot project for a new curriculum at the South Umpqua School District.

Using the community forest as a classroom, geography lessons become hands-on.

The grant will be used for geography education for kids in the South Umpqua School District next year.

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