Davis Forest School started as a once-a-week nature play program, founded in the Spring of 2018 by Candice Wang. The first session only had 6 kids in it, but it quickly grew as word spread! That fall, Candice moved away from Davis, and handed the reins over to Rosemary Roberts, who had had a child in that first session and was passionate about keeping this much-needed program alive. Rosemary grew the program to two and then three days a week, expanding its range and scope, until she moved away in 2020. A Covid-imposed hiatus was just what DFS needed to be able to pause, breathe and re-group, and following Candice’s return to Davis, sessions started up again in the Spring of 2021, this time with a small team of parents working behind the scenes to support the growth of the program. In the Winter of 2022, DFS officially became a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization!
Davis Forest School exists to promote and cultivate understanding of and empathy for the natural world, and for the local bioregion–the ecosystem of Putah Creek and the lower Sacramento River watershed–in particular, through encouraging exploration and curiosity, facilitating free play, and guiding children in artistic creation, active games, hiking, and quiet observation.
Our mission is to promote environmental justice through acknowledging the Indigenous history of the land and forging connections with local Indigenous individuals and organizations, and also through offering accessible and welcoming programming, raising money through grants and donations to offer reparations-based scholarships to Black and Indigenous families, and need-based scholarships to economically disadvantaged families.