Free Haven Forest School

Free Haven Forest School

From Rachel Mikottis

Join our Hike-A-Thon to raise funds for our Forest School! We want to purchase and preserve 47 acres surrounding our property for children to enjoy for generations to come. Our plans include programs through highschool.

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Free Haven's Hike-a-Thon is an opportunity for everyone who loves the outdoors to support getting more children access to the outdoors while they hike.

Whether you’re a thru-hiker, weekend warrior or find joy outside in your own neighborhood, Hike-a-Thon is a fun way to meet fellow trail enthusiasts while raising funds for Free Haven Forest School. We're committed to providing our community and all of Chicagoland with access to our private trails through field trips and forest school programs, and other outdoor learning opportunities. Getting kids excited about nature is what we do best. We hope to see you on trail throughout the month of November and December to celebrate our 1st annual Hike-A-Thon! 

Sponsor a hiker you know in their goal, or become a hiker and help raise funds for our cause!

Free Haven aims to become the premier hub of outdoor education in the Midwest, offering not only a wide range of outdoor experiences for children, but also Continuing Education Credits and professional development opportunities for teachers from all over the region, spreading the mission of getting as many children outdoors as possible.

The simple fact is that we have outgrown our site. Over 60 cars a day park at our site, representing the 75 students a day that are taught in our two classroom sites. Thankfully, our 2-acre site is surrounded by 47 additional acres of undeveloped land that consists of prairie, wetlands, creek, and forest. This land just went up for sale, which is an incredible opportunity for Free Haven Forest School to expand into the premier site for outdoor education. With a site of this scale, we will become the hub - not just for children - but also for teachers throughout the region to learn from nature and experience Forest School.

Time is of the essence as we raise funds to cover the initial down payment of the land purchase. In addition to the rapidly growing demand to expand preschool through future high school programs at Free Haven, this purchase will protect the extensive biodiversity that the property offers. Without quick action, there is potential for a developer to purchase the property and devastate the ecosystem as well as the possibility of expansion on this site.

Thank you for considering being a part of Free Haven’s mission committed to preserving childhood. We create memorable and educational outdoor learning experiences that create a love of learning that lasts a lifetime.

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