Out of the Classroom, Into the World.

A new name and a new location!

Transition to Terra Nova and Our History

Terra Nova is a name that better reflects who we are as a learning community while still maintaining our mission statement of “Out of the Classroom, Into the World.” The name means new lands. Formerly, the Jane Goodall Environmental Sciences Academy, we opened in 2015 and rented a space on the 300-acre Camp Courage grounds for 8 years. While we were blessed and appreciated a beautiful property to get our school foundation under us, the land was never our own.

In fall 2023, for the first time, our school has our own property! This is new land for us to experience, explore, revitalize, and truly make our own. Additionally, our goal with every learning opportunity is to have students discover something new. Occasionally that means engaging in an expedition that takes them literally to new lands that they have not previously experienced. Most of the time, however, learning takes students to figuratively new lands based on the new knowledge and skills they have gained. Our mission could similarly read, “Out of the Classroom, into New Lands.” The transition to Terra Nova continues to reflect our desire to direct students out into the world as they grow and mature into young adults, look outside themselves into the greater community, and it still retains our emphasis on environmental education. Leave the land better than you found it. Make the land new again. 

out of the classroom into the world beneath terra nova owl logo


The colors used in our logo serve the functions of extending the continuity with our previous logo, representing our values, and providing the framework for creating our own story in a way that has never been possible for us before. The predominant colors in our previous logo were blue, green, and orange. The new logo retains these colors. We value the earth and ecological practices. The blue and green in the logo reflect the earth and our desire to conserve and improve it. The orange is the fire, passion, and warmth that sparks everything.

Blue connects us to water. Lakes and rivers have always been important to the school. The Camp Courage campus included a lake and our new lands are sandwiched between two lakes within Buffalo. We have also engaged in countless trips and larger expeditionary learning opportunities that include canoeing, kayaking, sailing, swimming, and other aquatic activities. Water is essential to life and it will continue to be integral to the learning experiences we provide. Blue is additionally connected to feelings of trust and loyalty. It has a calming and relaxing effect on people in most cases and can bring peace. 

Green is also associated with the earth, vibrancy, and bringing forth new life and new lands. It often evokes powerful emotions that are rooted in a sense of calm, peace, and growth. Green is a color of a healthy ecosystem as well as nature, harmony, health, safety, and revitalization. Given our history and focus on environmental science it is an essential color.

Orange is another earth tone but serves a different purpose. It connects to the vibrancy of life but also shows a time of resting and regrouping before revitalization can occur. It is simultaneously a color of fire and serves as the passion and creativity that we hope to spark or keep lit in all of our students. It is often associated with warmth and can encourage energy and social communication. Within our scheme it is a color that would be used sparingly. Orange can be symbolic of harvests. While the harvest (graduation and after) is our goal, that is also the culmination of the journey and not the entire experience. Orange serves as a flair or flash of color but can be overwhelming when used without restraint.

Our Symbol-The Owl (Who/not What)

terra nova owl

The owl is a strong raptor that is respected but not commonly seen. It is spoken about admirably and with a sense of awe when experienced naturally. It is a continuation of the avian theme that appears in our previous logo but is a bird that is more specific and symbolic of who we are and hope to be. In Roman mythology, Minerva is the goddess of wisdom, and her pet owl is a symbol of wisdom, knowledge, culture, and discernment. Owls are also associated with change, transformation, intuitive development, and self-actualization. This makes it a tangible representation of our skills rubric.


The vision of Terra Nova (formerly JGESA) is to provide a personalized project-based learning experience where student passions, interests and environmental education drive learning toward becoming flexible problem solvers, effective leaders and responsible citizens.


Out of the Classroom, Into the World.