The Burgundy Center for Wildlife Studies is the mountain campus of the Burgundy Farm Country Day School, a DC-area independent school for which the priorities are progressive education, a diverse population, and respect for the natural world. The curriculum for Grades 1-8 include overnight programs in fall and spring, mostly 3 days in length. Trips are planned jointly with classroom teachers, so that the everyday classroom and outdoor classroom experiences are mutually integrated. BCWS trips interweave hands-on nature and science with language arts, math, and social studies topics. The program is designed such that students move through a range of field biology and earth science topics, experience increasing challenges, and build on skills from year to year.
BCWS comprises a 500-acre wildlife sanctuary in eastern WV, including field, thicket and forest, a spring, stream and pond. It extends to a ridge from which one gets a panoramic view.
Buildings are clustered in one shaded area beside the stream. The canopy walkway is about 10 minutes from this area. The main lodge and dorms are pole-barn structures with electricity. There is some wireless access. Staff share small screened sleeping cabins nearby.
BCWS Mission Statement:
The Burgundy Center for Wildlife Studies is both a wildlife sanctuary,managed to promote conservation, biodiversity, and a balanced ecology; and an educational facility where students, parents and teachers work and learn in a cooperative community, fostering intellectual and physical development. In this living laboratory, experiences in science and nature are integrated with classroom topics. Working independently and in small groups, students learn through enjoyable, hands-on exploration and quiet contemplation. The remote setting and absence of modern distractions allow for direct interactions with the natural world. BCWS stimulates the natural curiosity of students, which develops into interest in science, a conservation ethic and responsible stewardship.