Explore Your Urban Forest at Shaw Nature Reserve

Girl suspended in treeCanopy Climb for Schools logo
What would your students say if you ask them if they live in a forest?

The trees among us—in our backyards, schoolyards, neighborhoods, gardens, parks and highways—indeed make up an urban forest. This forest plays a vital role in our community’s health and well-being, from cleaning and cooling our air to managing storm-water to serving as habitat for native wildlife. Yet in St. Louis and across the U.S., trees face numerous threats and are in decline.

Designed to immerse your students in our urban forest like never before, the Canopy Climb: Explore Your Urban Forest program introduces students to the extraordinary, diverse world of trees and forests. This all-day program can accommodate groups of 24 students, split into two groups of 12, to experience both a guided forest ecology program and an unforgettable climbing experience. Program instructors will modify the experiences and content to accommodate students ranging from grades 4–12.

Students will learn the basics of tree climbing mechanics, including climbing techniques, balance, and safety from a certified climbing instructor.* At the culmination of the program, the groups will reconvene to learn about local and global canopy/forest research and real-world conservation careers.

Participating schools will have the opportunity for each participant to earn a Canopy Climb learning badge and certificate to encourage continued exploration and stewardship of trees and forests.

*Instructors from Vertical Voyages are certified through the Global Organization of Tree Climbers and American Mountain Guides Association.

Program Schedule

9:30–10 a.m. Arrival and Introduction
10 a.m.–noon Group 1: Climbing Session
Group 2: Forest Ecology Exploration
Noon–12:30 p.m. Lunch (Space provided. Please plan to bring your lunches with you.)
12:30–2:30 p.m. Group 1: Forest Ecology Exploration
Group 2: Climbing Session


Location, Pricing & Registration

Boy looking up at treeLocation:
Shaw Nature Reserve
Hwy. 100 & I-44
Gray Summit, Missouri 63039


  • $895 flat fee per group per day, maximum of 24 climbers. (Group rate is fixed, regardless of number of students.)*
  • One adult chaperone per 8 students required. Required chaperones receive free admission.
  • Due to the nature of this program, scholarship funds are not available to cover program fees.

* Approximately $37 per student assuming 24 climbers in the group.

Registration is by appointment only. To book Canopy Climb for your school,
call (314) 577-9526 or email rachel.weller@mobot.org.

Limited space is available—reserve your spot today!