The Severson Learning Center Story

The Severson Learning Center (SLC) honors Oscar Severson who was born in Cambridge in 1896, the son of business man Louis Severson. He graduated from Cambridge High School in 1916 and is remembered as a good student and athlete. (The Historic 1908 School Building began as our K-12 building.) During World War I, he volunteered and served overseas. When he returned, he worked at several Cambridge businesses before joining the Cambridge State Bank, where he worked for the rest of his life. In 1948 he married his longtime sweetheart Mabel Guernsey, a nurse. The couple had no children. At the request of Mr. Severson, the property now known as the Severson Learning Center was given to the School District of Cambridge at the time of his death in 1989.

Severson Learning Center features a typical, handsome farmstead of southeastern Wisconsin, featuring a white farmhouse and red barn surrounded by about 54 acres of arable fields currently farmed by the local FFA Alumni. About 20 acres of land is in four woodlots. A sugarbush of 75 Sugar Maples has been planted in woodlot A. A large pond with year round water lies between two of the woodlots. A wetland scrape is nestled within the L of the southern-most woodlot. Two community gardens providing vegetables for the local food pantry are located close to the house and barn and a small apple orchard is also located close by. Facilities include a temporary shelter for classroom use, one small rustic classroom building, a small tool shed, and a large barn, currently housing FFA student animal husbandry projects.

Learning is Exciting at Severson

The educational opportunities at Severson Learning Center are as varied and interesting as the site itself and the excitement is only growing. This is a wonderful place for students to learn about:

  • Geology
  • Soil science
  • Forestry
  • Natural resources
  • Wildlife management
  • Botany and biology
  • ...As well as language arts, visual arts, music, math, history, and social studies

Future projects include student oral history interviews with older residents, student GIS?made trail maps, student-produced educational signage along trails, student-built benches along the trail, a student/volunteer-built open shelter, maple syrup production, orchard and berry production, etc.

How can you get involved?

Are you interested in volunteering at the Severson Learning Center? Contact Jennifer Scianna, Severson Learning Center Director, for more information.