Junior returns from semester studying in Wisconsin wilderness

Lukas Wrede gains knowledge and perspectives about environment

As junior Lukas Wrede reflects on his past semester at Conserve School, he said he enjoyed going to a school where the outdoors became his classroom.

According to Wrede, Conserve School is located in Land O’ Lakes, Wisconsin, and high school students spend one semester learning there.

“Last semester there (were) 63 students. I think each semester it ranges from 60-64 (students). Most students are juniors and there (are) a couple sophomores, but all classes (offered) are junior classes,” Wrede said.

Wrede said he found out about Conserve School from a friend who attended previously, and became interested in the school because of its narrow focus on environmental studies.

Used with permission by Lukas Wrede
Juniors Caroline Green and Lukas Wrede stand under the Northern Lights. They both returned to Park in Dec. after spending the past semester at Conserve School.

“I love the environment and the school is completely free. The school is all sustainability-based and (you learn) how to become a better steward of the environment, so it just sounded like a perfect opportunity,” Wrede said.  

According to Michael Salat, a teacher at Conserve School and Wrede’s adviser, Wrede was a suitable candidate for the school.

“(Wrede) was a good fit for the school because he was willing to take chances. He was very outgoing and very social,” Salat said. “He already had a passion for the outdoors and learning about our natural world and wild places.”

Wrede said he took classes that were unique to the school, such as Stewardship and Outdoor Skills. Wrede said the traditional classes he took, such as English and history, focused their curriculums on environmental topics.

“English and history were completely different (from Park). We went outside every other day. Sometimes we would combine classes and take four-hour class trips into the wilderness or go paddling,” Wrede said. “History was based on learning about specific environmental movements and exploration.”

According to Wrede, this past semester expanded his knowledge about topics that interest him.

“Going to (Conserve School) reinforced all of my beliefs. I was already really interested in the environment and going to this school helped me gain more knowledge. (For example), saving the earth from climate change and stuff like that,” Wrede said.

Salat said throughout Wrede’s experience at Conserve School, he not only gained knowledge about the environment, but also grew as an individual.

“(Wrede) is a free spirited, fun, loving young guy. I think (he) learned a lot about responsibility and maturity, and he learned a lot about wild, natural places,” Salat said.

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