The Black Rock Forest Consortium maintains a 3,800 acre forest for cutting-edge scientific research. Located fifty miles north of New York City in the Hudson Highlands, the forest also creates educational opportunities for more than 11,000 students of all ages who visit annually. Still, Black Rock remains largely under utilized; many who are permitted access to the forest do not even know that it exists.
The Virtual Forest Initiative aims to develop a breakthrough model for providing virtual “visitors” of all kinds an intuitive means for experiencing and learning about all aspects of the forest -- even absent a physical visit. The Virtual Forest toolset provides a technological framework to support and enhance research, education, and community activities at the forest and opens access to searchable, downloadable forest assets and resources for education, presentation, and use by scientists, teachers, students and community members.