Spaces for Learning
Center for Science and Education
The Center for Science and Education is a 9000-square-foot green and "smart" building located half a mile into the Forest, adjacent to the Forest Lodge.It contains two teaching/laboratory areas for K-12 and undergraduate students, each 1150 square feet and able to accommodate up to 50 visitors at a time. It also includes a sophisticated 700-square-foot wet laboratory with refrigerators and freezer space, balances, ovens, centrifuges, distilled water, and a fume hood. Both wired and wireless internet access are available. The Science Center was constructed with funds contributed by the National Science Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, and many generous people and organizations.
The Solar Pavilion
The Solar Pavilion sits on a small rise directly behind the Science Center. Its impressive array of 32 photovoltaic panels, slanting to the southern sky, makes up 40 percent of the Forest’s 24-kilowatt solar power system and serves as the roof over a 25-foot X 16-foot outdoor classroom space. It contains two large picnic tables.The space is ideal for examining the solar power system, which is monitored to provide real-time data showing the energy and power production of the system, as well as other information. Teachers can hold classes here while students examine the solar data, and can also use the space for a variety of other activities.
The Stone House
The Stone House is a 3000-square-foot farmhouse, dating to 1834, located in the center of the Forest.Nineteenth century artifacts and old photographs educate visitors about life in the area before Black Rock Forest was established in 1929. Teaching materials in the house include a geology exhibit, animal skins and skulls, and tree sections.A tree identification trail, and map and compass course, and several other educational activities are based at the Stone House. Although it has no electricity or running water, the Stone House is also available for overnight housing.
The Old Forest Headquarters
Before the Forest Lodge was built, the Old Forest Headquarters, a 2500-square-foot structure just outside the Forest, was the only option for overnight housing. The area around the building includes a lawn suitable for recreation, access to a stream, a garden and tree nursery, a weather station, a storage barn, and a woodshop.
The Forest Itself
The primary educational resource of the Black Rock Forest Consortium is the 3830 acres of the Forest itself, with dramatic topography (including waterfalls up to 90 feet in height and rock outcrops with views south as far as Manhattan and north as far as the Catskills), and native terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems (including four major stream systems, seven ponds, hilltop scrub woods, forested swamps, shrub swamps, open marshes, and stands of old-growth forest). The Forest contains several long-term study plots where students can collect and examine scientific data on tree growth, mortality, and regeneration. The Hudson River cuts dramatically through the region less than two miles from the Forest and is easily accessible.