Barbara Thompson


My husband and I moved to West Salem in 1980. When the first of our three children entered kindergarten we were pleasantly surprised to find that the district owned a school forest. When our oldest was in first grade her teacher asked for parent volunteers to help out during their school forest trip. I had never heard of such a thing as a school forest and.....I was hooked! I have a BS in Forest Management from UW-Stevens Point. With that knowledge I helped teachers and students learn about what a great place "their" forest was. And in 1993 I was hired as the school district's first Outdoor Education Center Coordinator. A job I thoroughly enjoyed for 23 years. From 1996 to 2019 I spent part of each summer in far eastern and far northern Russia running environmental summer camps for Russian students. When I retired I knew I wanted to stay involved in Environmental Education. I think that one of the most important things we can do for and with today's children is help them learn about and understand the world they live in. Serving on the board helps me keep that EE connection. I love spending time with my kids and grandkids. We find lots of things to do outdoors! I also really enjoy hiking, cycling, canoeing, reading, and gardening.