Press Release


New Documentary Found in the Forest Explores Nature-Based Education

Follows the teachers and students of a school that has no classrooms

Maple Ridge, BC – March 16, 2014 - Can a child learn math without a chalkboard or science without a textbook? How important are four walls and a desk to the learning process? Canadian documentary Found in the Forest challenges us to re-examine education, with an insider view of the Environmental School, a new public school forgoes the classroom for the natural world.

The Environmental School launched in the fall of 2011 as a partnership between several Maple Ridge, British Columbia community groups, School District 42 Maple Ridge & Pitt Meadows, and Simon Fraser University. Catering to Kindergarten to Grade 7 students, the project is funded through a Community-University Research Alliance grant from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

The Environmental School takes the classroom outside, where students learn and play in a natural environment. The curriculum enables the children to acquire the knowledge and skills expected of BC school graduates, while also emphasizing the values of service, responsibility and resilience. Supported by Place-Based, Imaginative and Ecological Education, the program is experiential in nature. Lessons are taught in context and through activities that engage the whole person and help connect them to both the natural and human world.

As a parent of a child enrolled in The Environmental School, filmmaker and photographer Craig Cerhit was able to explore every aspect of the school. Filmed over two years, Found in the Forest investigates the differences between the Environmental School and traditional schools. The documentary also examines the style of learning, ecological involvement, class structure, and the impact of outdoor learning on the student. It’s an interesting perspective on an evolving project, with teachers, administrators, researchers and parents working together to develop a rich and unique learning environment that challenges conventional educational.

Can a forest be educational? Found in the Forest answers many questions for those who want to know more about this unique school and its approach to education.

Found in the Forest has a running time of two hours and will be released on April 5, 2014. To learn more about Found in the Forest visit or follow the film on Facebook

For more information, contact: Craig Cerhit