Forest Resources Environmental Education (FREE) network for teachers


\"F.R.E.EIf you are a teacher and you haven’t heard of the F.R.E.E.—Forest Resources Environmental Education—Network, then now is the time to get acquainted. 

The F.R.E.E. Network began as a coalition of representatives from state and federal government agencies, the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota forest products industry to facilitate dissemination of information about forest resources and the products that flow from them. The desire is to make sure that teachers and students of all ages understand the impact and trade-off of the environmental decisions we make. This includes consumption choices, land use and policy alternatives.

Why the F.R.E.E. Network was Formed

There are lots of educational products available which focus on forests and environmental issues related to forests. However, little of the information available about forests and the products they provide is scientifically sound. In addition, it doesn’t link consumption to production or accurately portray our usage.

The F.R.E.E. Network was created to identify and facilitate the distribution and use of educational materials by collecting and evaluating existing educational materials. The F.R.E.E. Network determines if these materials are scientifically accurate and if they address these concepts:

  • Everything is made from natural resources and natural resources must come from somewhere
  • Gathering and processing of all natural resources have environmental impacts
  • Responsible production and use of wood – a renewable resource – is environmentally sound

Teacher Forestry Tours

Piggy-backing on to the F.R.E.E. Network’s good work, the Temperate Forest Foundation offers educators opportunities to become immersed in the social, economic and ecological aspects of sustainable forestry.

With over 50 successful tours across North America, the Foundation has empowered educators with scientifically credible information. Teachers are sponsored by a local business, association, or agency, which pays a $700 registration fee and round-trip travel expenses. Tours for 2011 are being held in Oregon and Michigan.