First- and second-grade students at Juniper Hill School traveled to Midcoast Conservancy’s Hidden Valley Nature Center to participate in an educational program that took place outside, according to a news release from the school.

This program is a collaborative effort between Midcoast Conservancy and Juniper Hill School for Place-Based Education, an Alna-based school known for teaching classical academic subjects in the context of the local environment.

Over a period of four weeks the center’s 1,000-plus acres of wild lands served as an outdoor classroom where the students learned in one of the most “ecologically diverse and undeveloped tracts of forestland in the midcoast” of Maine, according to the release.

Lessons in the outdoor classroom required students to use academic skills (reading/writing, math, science concepts), and physical skills (coordination, balance etc.) as they learn to master many new concepts and activities including map reading, tracking, snowshoeing and cross country skiing. Students also learned winter survival skills such as fire and shelter building taught by expert instructors from the Maine Primitive Skills School.

For more information about Midcoast Conservancy, Juniper Hill School for Place-Based Education, or Maine Primitive Skills School, visit,, or

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