Restoring Nature’s Classroom expands to middle school

By bernheim

CLERMONT, Ky –  (Aug. 8, 2022) One of Bernheim’s most successful educational programs is about to get bigger. Restoring Nature’s Classroom is an innovative program created in 2018 for fourth grade students at one of Jefferson County Public Schools’ most diverse elementary schools – Hazelwood Elementary.

Supported by the Sierra Club of Greater Louisville, the Restoring Nature’s Classroom program includes multiple field trips to Bernheim during the school year, as well as many visits to the classroom by Bernheim educators, with field and classroom lessons designed specifically to support Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

“Bernheim’s education team has created a unique curriculum to supplement teachers’ classroom lessons with meaningful, hands-on experiences that expose students to the stories and cycles of nature through direct experience,” said Kristin Faurest, Bernheim Forest’s Director of Education. “Now we are setting our sights on expanding the program to sixth graders at Olmsted Academy South.”

Based on four successful years of working with excited, engaged students and enthusiastic teachers, Bernheim is excited to expand the program to middle school students. The middle school is fed by Hazelwood, which means many kids will be able to experience Bernheim throughout two grade levels. Just as with the fourth grade, the program will be a combination of field experiences at Bernheim and classroom presentations at the school, all aligned to grade-appropriate science standards. The expansion adds about 200 students to the program and will launch this fall.

Fundraising for the program’s expansion is ongoing. Potential supporters can contact Faurest at


About Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest

Bernheim’s mission is to connect people with nature. Bernheim is the largest privately held contiguous forest block in the eastern United States dedicated to conservation and education. Bourbon maker Isaac Wolfe Bernheim established the arboretum and forest in 1929 as a gift to the people of Kentucky. A recent land acquisition brought the total acreage of land that Bernheim protects to 16,140. Fun, educational programs, diverse tree collections, 40 miles of hiking trails and varied landscapes are available every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. A $10 per car donation is suggested for non-members.


Bernheim is in Clermont, Ky., about 20 minutes south of the Louisville airport. From I-65 take exit 112 and follow the signs. Bernheim is a non-profit organization that relies on memberships, grants and donations for support. Come visit and enjoy the beauty of nature. For more information, please visit

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