School Forest
School Forest

The Medford Area Public School District extends a welcome to all who are interested in using the Medford School Forest. 

The School Forest is a unique living, learning laboratory that is available to students and residents of the Medford Area Public School District.  It provides many different settings and there are numerous activities and projects that are available for individuals and groups to accomplish while at the School Forest. 

We have a number of nature trails, wildlife clearing areas, a pond and other specialized areas for nature study, as well as recreational endeavors, like hiking, skiing, snowshoeing and orienteering.  Work projects are also available for organizations. 

We welcome your use of the School Forest.  As you enjoy nature, learn about the forest, wildlife or fauna, please enjoy the many opportunities available. 

We appreciate the work of the Medford Kiwanis Club for their interest and support of the School Forest.  We also recognize the many individuals, organizations and governmental agencies that have donated time, materials and funds to provide this opportunity for enjoyment.  We thank all of them for their generosity as we utilize the Medford School Forest.

For more information, please see our School Forest booklet.  If you are interested in using the School Forest, please contact Jennifer Kuenne at 715-748-4620 ext. 522.   

History of the Medford School Forest

The Medford Area School Forest is located about 9 miles east of Medford on Highway 64 in the Town of Goodrich. It is situated on the south side of the road and consists of about 160 acres. 

In 1952, Mr. Harry Hurd and his wife, Mary, bought and deeded to the City of Medford an 80 acre tract of land to be used for a school forest. At the time the land was purchased, the Rhyner Tie Company of Stetsonville had cut and removed hardwood timber to an eight inch and softwood to a six inch diameter. The School Forest was dedicated on September 18, 1952 at 1:30 p.m. the first year of new ownership saw the planting of about 3,000 conifers (mostly white pines), the erection of the school forest sign and the establishment of a memorial plot. 

In 1964, a pond, approximately one acre in area, was constructed with the help of the Soil Conservation Service (SCS). The pond drains about 38 acres of land. The cost of the project was $2,294.63. 

In 1967, Mr. Pflughoeft of Medford donated an additional 80 acres of land adjacent to the pond. This added parcel of land gives the School Forest an L-shape when added to the original 80 acres. 

In 1971, the Green Thumb Organization began to construct an all purpose building. On May 9, 1983, the building was officially dedicated and named Dodsworth Hall in memory of Mr. Orvus Dodsworth, who for many years was the Superintendent of Schools and an advocate for the School Forest. 

In the summer of 1973, the bell, which had been located at the old Goodrich School, was installed outside Dodsworth Hall. 

From 1952 to 2000, there were many individuals, classes and clubs who contributed to the growth and improvement of the school forest through their projects. Picnic tables and benches were built and distributed throughout the grounds.  Inspired by the efforts of these School Forest pioneers, it is with renewed vigor and enthusiasm the Medford Area Public School District sets its School Forest goals for the 21st century. Some of these goals are to update existing structures, rejuvenate the trail system,  and utilize the marvelous outdoor educational site by the pond. The Medford School District is grateful for the work that has been done and hopes that its efforts in the 21st century will afford future generations the opportunity to learn in this outdoor classroom environment. 

  • Medford Area Public School District
  • 124 West State St, Medford, WI 54451
  • Phone: 715 748-4620  •  Fax: 715 748-6839
  • E-mail: