In 1996, Lake Country School purchased 160 acres of land in Dunn County, Wisconsin. The beautiful site includes fields, woodlands, ravines and a pond. The Lake Country Land School has been at the heart of the school’s efforts to develop a curriculum that teaches our students to be good stewards of the land.
The development of the Land School's program fulfills Lake Country's dream of implementing Maria Montessori's Erdkinder experience for Junior High and is an integral part of a full Montessori Junior High education. The Land School also augments the classroom experiences of elementary level students, serves as an ideal environment for summer programs and is a resource available to all Lake Country families year round. The Land School provides the ideal setting to teach our students that we are all stewards of the land.
The Lake Country Land School seeks to realize Maria Montessori's vision of adolescents as the children of the soil. The Land School provides students of all ages, from Lake Country and other urban schools, with a rural environment where they can form a community that values collaborative, physical work, that experiments with economic empowerment, and that experiences a deep relationship with the land over an extended period of time. The Land School strives to be an ecologically sound integration of domesticated and wild environments.
Land School Values and Principles
The values and principles informing the use and development of the Land School include the following:
- We are stewards of the land.
- We are organic farmers.
- We seek a sustainable, harmonious balance between the domesticated areas of the Land School and the wild areas.
- We use appropriate, low-impact technology.
- We value simplicity, order, and beauty in all areas of the Land School.
- We restore and recycle before we build anew.
- We recognize and articulate the inherent sacredness of the earth and protect the child's opportunity to experience the holy.
- We seek to realize meaningful relationships between city and rural life.
- We value the work of the hand and create experiences on the land that help the children discover the rewards and discipline of manual labor.
The Lake Country Land School includes a community farm where students, parents and staff grow vegetables, herbs and flowers on an acre of land using sustainable, organic farming practices. Thanks to a series of successful incubations in Children's House, we are also small scale poultry farmers and sell organic eggs. The goals of the Community Farm are to promote the creation of programs which integrate the Land School into the life of our urban school; to increase the children's awareness of our interdependence with the natural world by planting seeds, transplanting seedlings, and harvesting vegetables; to deepen the experience of community within Lake Country; and to link agriculture (domesticating the land) with active land stewardship (protecting the wilderness of the land). Some Lake Country families choose to become Community Farm stewards by making a yearly contribution to the Land School and by working two days per season. Each steward receives a share of the farm's harvest each week.
All Lake Country families are invited to participate in the Community Farm. See the Visits page for more information about scheduling a visit to the Land School, and please be sure to call (715-265-7770) or send an e-mail to the Land School beforehand to plan your visit.