~This blog entry is brought to you from the electronic portfolio of CS7 student Linnea Halsten. Conserve School electronic portfolios connect student experiences to the school’s learning goals. Linnea is from Madison, Wisconsin where she attends East High School. This entry is from the beginning of December.~
Lowenwood, a Place of Growth for the Future
Conserve School Learning Goal: After completing a semester at Conserve School a student has come to know Lowenwood, has developed gratitude for this gift from James R. Lowenstine, and, through their deepening love of this place, has become inspired to be a caretaker of the natural world.
After just coming back from Thanksgiving break I feel more thankful than ever to have been able to have had the Conserve School experience. As the end is ever approaching the reality of leaving is encroaching and we definitely all feel it. While many can become greedy at this sad time I feel that it’s best to reflect on how lucky we are to have had this experience. Although it greatly dismays me to think of leaving Lowenwood, I remember what a blessing it is to have been able to come here and experience it. Instead of thinking that we ONLY have two weeks left I think it’s better to think we have been gifted with two more weeks here, because indeed we have. Lowenwood will always be a home away from home to me, and I am lucky to have such a beautiful meaningful place to look back on as my home.
When I was away for Thanksgiving I felt the hollowness of not being immersed in forests and wildlife. I missed Lowenwood deep in the pit of my stomach. The pristine clean air, beautiful lakes, diverse geography, forests, and the white non-polluted snow I missed more than I ever thought I would. As I reflected over the Thanksgiving holiday I thought of James Lowenstine. I gained a greater understanding of his longing for and love of Lowenwood. Now more than ever do I appreciate and understand what gargantuan gift he has given us. In the beginning of the semester I knew this place was special but I had no idea how special it was and how much it would change me. Mr. Lowenstine not only has given us land and money but he bestowed upon us the spiritual, healing and growing power of Lowenwood. Lowenwood will forever be in my heart as it was in James Lowenstine’s, and I am sure it will influence me in ways beyond my knowledge.
Here I have obtained much local and world knowledge and I have had my appetite amplified to make a difference in this world. My inspiration for making a difference in the world partly comes from the people here. The teachers and staff here all have forged their own paths in the world. They stand out, and have pursued their passions with vigor and confidence, something that I admire and aspire to do. The same can be said for the Grad Fellows carrying out their passions for the environment and education. Just like us they have taken a risk coming here away from peers and comfortable living situations and to semi isolated Lowenwood. Then there are is the rest of CS7. My peers here inspire me momentously, not only are they talented, driven, and ambitious but they are extremely accepting and supportive. All of these inspiring and ambitious people have showed me how perseverance and passion can carry you to great heights. The most inspirational of all is James R. Lowenstine, for he has been the one that made this experience truly possible. Mr. Lowenstine has been greatly enhancing lives like mine from the grave for years. His ambition carried him to the top of his profession and in turn he gave it all back to use in hopes that one day when we become leaders we will remember the vital importance of the environment. This ambitious, passionate, caring, business man invested in future youth to protect this planet and after coming here I’m certain that we will not let him down.
Being here has inspired me to not only be a caretaker of the natural world but to make a difference in bettering the natural world. Combining my passions and skills I believe that I will be able to find a job where I can best serve others and the natural world. From Conserve I have gained more of an idea of possible jobs and colleges and through this I have gained a greater knowledge of what would and wouldn’t be a good fit for me in the future. I have experienced firsthand the vital impact that nature has on the human spirit while I’ve been at Conserve School. The healing power of nature is unbelievable. From being in nature we get back in touch with reality, ourselves, and our brought back to the present moment. The effect on me from being so close to Lowenwood for one semester is enormous. I feel whole. I feel healthy. Most of all I feel inspired. I want to, and know I will, help the environment in the best way I can. I have no despair when facing our environmental problems for I know I will do all I can to help solve the issues that we face, not only for myself, but for the world as a whole. Conserve School, thanks to James Lowenstine has instilled a burning passion in me for defending the things I love. I love this earth, and I plan to do all in my power to save it.
“To the future young folks of Lowenwood:
I wish you all love, hope, happiness,
And a long and healthful life.
May your understanding of mankind
Be broadened through your association with
And, I am sure, your love of Lowenwood.”
—Jim Lowenstine (5-13-1965)
Linnea Halsten, Conserve School Semester 7
More photos from Linnea’s semester at Conserve School.
Conserve School provides a semester-long immersion for high school students in environmental studies and outdoor activities that deepens their love of nature, reinforces their commitment to conservation, and equips them to take meaningful action as environmental stewards. Thanks to the generosity of Conserve School’s friends and its founder James Lowenstine all accepted students receive significant scholarship support.