Canadore College is creating more opportunities for families in Parry Sound.

The college announced Thursday it is welcoming the Parry Sound Forest School to its West Parry Sound Campus, on a more permanent basis.

After two successful summers offering a day-program to children, the Forest School signed a one-year lease and starting next week on Monday, will provide the program year-round.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer this program year-round to the families of Parry Sound and area,” Forest School educator Diana Clements said in a press release. “Together, we will nurture children’s physical, social, emotional, and academic growth and help them to better understand and become connected to a small piece of our beautiful Georgian Bay Biosphere!”

A forest school is a way of learning that began 50 years ago in Scandinavia and arrived in Canada in the last decade.

Lee-Ann Turner, Canadore College Parry Sound Campus Supervisor, says as the concept of learning throughout life becomes understood, a learning society is developed.

“Every opportunity affords learning and fulfillment of potential,” she said. “Having the Parry Sound Forest School at our campus will support students already engaged in learning about early childhood education, health promotion, and development through all stages of life.”

Forest Schools encourage a connection to nature to create a desire for the children to protect nature.

Students are carefully monitored to allow them to experience age-appropriate risks such as tree climbing, tool and rope use, and campfires.

The ecological features around the West Parry Sound Campus, including the adjacent forest and the Brigg’s Pond wetland, make the collaboration a natural one.

Head to the college’s website for more information.