Berkeley, CA, USA
MLK Middle School
Outdoor Classrooms for East Bay Students
SUGi partners with schools across the globe to plant ultra-dense, biodiverse forests closer to the classroom. Berkeley, California will be home to the first three Miyawaki School Forests in the United States.
Students at MLK Middle School will not only benefit from the direct health effects of urban forests, but learning in nature improves a child’s behaviour, helps them build stronger relationships, reduces stress and anger, and heightens curiosity.
Even seeing nature from a school building fosters creative thinking and expands the imagination.
Today’s kids spend a whopping 44 hours a week in front of a screen and less than 10 minutes a day playing outside. Access to nature is not equal; it’s too often dictated by where you live, your race and income level. These forests will be a big leap forward in resetting the balance.
Forest Maker Ethan Bryson
“It’s been a dream to begin creating SUGi Outdoor Classrooms at schools in the United States. Berkeley, California has always been a birthplace of social action, so it feels even more powerful that a movement for urban rewilding and strengthening Nature-Community connections begins here in my own backyard.”
— Tamsin Smith, SUGi Team Member