Our Mission & Goal

A Welcome Introduction

We Are The Forest is a K-12 Nature + STEM education platform. Our Academy is conducted in K-12 schools, and aligns with national science standards. The Academy trains students and teachers to connect with Place & Nature, while cultivating a new and innovative problem-solving lens. 

Graduates learn the interdisciplinary STEM skills required to evaluate local ​Ecosystem Services​, using ​Biomimicry​ design to install ​Green Infrastructure ​systems in their school community.

The Mission ​of We Are The Forest is to train students and teachers with advanced ecological and engineering skills needed to ​work with nature ​in solving environmental problems. We believe our program excels at connecting people to ​place & nature​, while ​empowering ​their vision as life-long stewards of Planet Earth.

Our Goal ​is to cultivate and certify a new generation of “​Nature-Based Systems-Thinkers​” - trained in ​Ecosystem Services, Biomimicry and Green Infrastructure.​

Ready to start your adventure?

The We Are The Forest Academy trains and certifies

 K-12 students and teachers in "Nature-Based Systems Thinking". Start your journey with the power of Place and Nature by clicking the link below! 

our social impact



A response to “Nature Deficit Disorder”, our place-based, Nature + STEM Academy focuses on outdoor learning, critical thinking and problem solving. The environmental problems we face dictate the need for nature-based problem solvers actively engaged in their communities.



The jobs of the future are here today, through restoring ecosystems, building new living systems , and creating a "circular economy". Revitalization of our food, energy, water, building, transportation and waste infrastructures will provide sustainable, un​-outsourceable job opportunities for decades.



With awareness of the critical role trees and nature play in cities & human health, we need on the ground solutions in community resilience, resource conservation, and public health.

It is time for a new generation of Nature-based problem solvers, equipped with restorative solutions for long-term ecological sustainability.

Our Partners

Eastern Michigan University

The SEMIS Coalition @ EMU has been our educational community of practice since our beginning. EMU is changing  paradigms through Place-Based Education. 

University of Wisconsin

Primary partner on our National Science Foundation  funded work. UW researchers document and evaluate We Are The Forest's work with underserved school communities in SE Michigan. 

Ecoworks Detroit

Our 501c3 fiscal sponsor, and long time training partner for projects in Detroit Public Schools. 

Our History



Chiwara Permaculture Research and Education (We Are The Forest's parent org) partners with the University of Michigan and Archangel Ancient Tree Archive, planting the initial seeds for We Are The Forest’s work. This work was recognized by ​AASHE​ in 2015.


We Are The Forest is launched with the Archangel Ancient Tree Archive and begins facilitating workshops with K-12 schools in California. This work is documented in the New York Times bestselling book ​“The Man Who Planted Trees”​.


We Are The Forest partners with Summers Knoll School, Ypsilanti Community Schools, and Eastern Michigan University to train k-12 students and teachers in place-based, STEM education. This initial pilot work was featured on ​PBS​ and highlighted in ​Educational Leadership Magazine​.


We Are The Forest in partnership with the University of Wisconsin, is awarded funding by the National Science Foundation through 2020, to facilitate our STEM training program in underserved K-12 schools throughout metro Detroit.

2019 - Present

We Are The Forest exits R&D/Pilot phase when awarded preliminary development funding from the City of Ann Arbor and the Buhr Family Foundation to launch the We Are The Forest Academy. 

Contact Us

Drop us a line!