Dear FirstLine Community,
It is with great sadness and deep appreciation for a life well lived that I write to inform you of the passing of Dan Forman this past Wednesday. Many of you knew Dan as “Dan the canoe man” through his work with our students over the past 15 years – first as the founder of NORD’s Outdoor Program and then as the Director of LOOP (Louisiana Outdoor Outreach Program). Dan worked with hundreds of students across our schools, including many of our colleagues when they were students in middle school and high school. For many students in New Orleans, a trip with Dan was their first exposure to canoeing through the local bayous or rivers, or their first overnight camping trip. He was an educator with a deep commitment to providing outdoor educational experiences to all students in New Orleans, and he believed that exposure to nature combined with experiential “adventure” learning would develop teamwork, self-awareness, an appreciation for our environment, and more grounded, centered young people.
For many years he had a vision of building a ropes course in New Orleans so that students from our schools and other public schools in New Orleans could have access to learning opportunities that traditionally had required hours of travel to reach and whose cost was beyond our means. Last year, he finally brought this dream to fruition with building of a ropes course on Scout Island in City Park.
Dan was a rare partner in the work we are doing – he was in it for the long haul and he provided a set of valuable learning experiences we would never have been able to offer on our own. Bob Marshall of The Times-Picayune, a friend of Dan’s, has written a fitting obituary that you can read at http://www.nola.com/education/index.ssf/2012/02/dan_forman_creator_of_outdoor.html
A gathering of friends to honor his life and work will be held this Sunday at 3pm near Cabrini Bridge on Bayou St. John.
In deepest appreciation for the work you do every day,
Chief Executive Officer