Covid 19 Policy

Black Rock Forest is following all NY and CDC recommended guidelines.

Visiting Class Policies

  • Classes must pre-register prior to visiting the Forest – Plan your Visit
    • Staff may be requested to lead hikes and assist with activities. Requests for Staff assistance must be made at a minimum of 2 weeks prior to arriving at the Forest. Staff may or may not be available for requests at short notice.
  • Visiting classes are encouraged to conduct their classes outside and limit the use of indoor classroom spaces.  
    • At this time, access to all BRF buildings is available, but will be partitioned depending on the size of groups, whether groups are in pods, or if groups are from different schools. Occupancy of indoor spaces are as follows: 
      • Forest Lodge overnight accommodations: up to 24 people. Groups larger than 24 people MUST get special approval from our facilities manager or education staff.
      • Moretti Education Center: up to 24 people
      • Science Center Laboratory: up to 12 people
      • Science Center Classroom: up to 12 people
    • Forest Lodge facilities are restricted if an overnight group is currently staying in the Lodge
      • Same entry requirements (see below) will be required.
  • While students are participating in indoor activities, social distancing must be maintained where possible.
    • If activities require students to be closer than 3ft, masks should be worn
    • When groups are eating, social distancing of 6ft is required

Requirements for Building Entry Use 

  • Masks are required to be worn indoors regardless of vaccination or test status. If you do not have a face mask, one will be provided.
  • Visitors must adhere to COVID-safe protocols (ie. visitors must have a temperature less than 100°F and self-screening should be completed using CDC’s questionnaire). We encourage educators to share these requirements with parents or guardians of students prior to arrival.
    • If school groups completed temperature checks and self-screening protocols prior to arrival, we encourage notification of completion to be shared with BRF staff (optional).
    • Information about whether the whole group is vaccinated and/or have conducted COVID PCR testing prior to arrival is encouraged to be communicated to BRF staff prior to arrival (optional).
  • For contact tracing purposes, visiting groups are required to provide a roster of names (students, teachers, chaperones, etc.) prior to arrival. Please visit: https://forms.office.com/r/4cbUBGDTs0
  • Hand sanitizer must be used prior to entry.
  • Hands must be washed thoroughly after using restroom facilities.
  • Visitors will be required to use either the Men’s or Women’s restroom facilities
    • The unisex disability facility will be reserved for:
      • Visitors with disabilities or BRF Staff 

Black Rock Forest’s Procedure for Cleaning Indoor Spaces

  • All commonly touched surfaces are 1st cleaned with soap & water mixture
    • We are using concentrated Simple Green & water
  • After cleaning with soap & water, we disinfect surfaces with an appropriate disinfectant
    • Bleach & Water
    • Cleaning Hydrogen Peroxide
    • Lysol
  • We are also sanitizing with the use of a UV-C lamp
    • This lamp is only used during the night when all staff and visitors are gone
    • If time allows, during the day, we may also use this between visiting classes
      • 30 minutes is required to sanitize each restroom, classroom, and bathroom facility
  • Black Rock Forest ventilation and filters
    • Black Rock Forest uses Merv 8 air filters in buildings. Per CDC Recommendations, air filters will be switched to Merv 13 filters (which are able to filter out smaller particles) for large group visits during overnight stays.
    • Room air sanitizer units will be used in each room during overnight use in the Lodge.

Use of BRF Equipment

  • Visiting Classes are welcome to use BRF Equipment if needed
    • Classes must request all items of equipment they will need prior to visiting
    • All equipment will be cleaned by BRF Staff after its use using an appropriate cleaner for that specific equipment

Forest Lodge

  • If the Lodge is not being used for overnight guests, Lodge restrooms will be utilized for separating visiting groups
    • Same use practices and cleaning procedures will be used as outlined above
  • Overnight groups (requests will be assessed on a case by case basis)
    • Overnight groups are required to provide a roster of names (students, teachers, chaperones, etc.) prior to arrival. 
    • Groups no larger than 24 will be permitted to stay overnight. Groups larger than 24 people MUST get special approval from our facilities manager or education staff.
      • Overnight use limited to bottom bunks only
      • Rooms – Maple, Oak, Tamarack, Hemlock – 3 people max each
      • Rooms – Chestnut, Hickory, Birch, Spruce, Cedar, Pine – 2 people max each
    • Only (1) visiting group will be permitted to stay in the Forest Lodge at a time 
      • No overlapping groups will be allowed (e.g. one group leaving in morning and another arriving in afternoon)
    • 24 hrs must separate overnight groups to allow time to clean and properly sanitize.
    • Masks are required to be worn within restrooms, in the kitchen, and in common spaces unless extraordinary measures are made to create a pod group (ie. quarantine prior to arrival and negative PCR test results and/or everyone in the group is vaccinated)
    • Linens, blankets, and towels
      • BRF will supply fitted sheets for mattresses, blankets, and towels
  • Portable Air Sanitation units are located in each bedroom.  Units must stay ON when room(s) are in use.

Stone House Area

  • The Stone House area is available as a destination available for day and overnight groups 
    • Day trips: groups are encouraged to primarily use outside spaces only. In the event of severe weather or thunderstorms, entrance into the Stone House is permitted.
    • Overnight stays: limited to tenting only, no sleeping within the Stone House building         
      • CDC guidelines still apply
  • Please be aware the Stone House has no electricity or running water. Access to Composting toilet, and water via a Hand-pump and Water transported from Lodge available.
  • If camping, people of different households should also occupy separate tents.
  • Equipment available upon request (generator, campfire materials, etc.)

Old Headquarters

  • The Old Headquarters is no longer available for lodging.  The Old Headquarters has been converted into housing for the Post-Doctoral position.