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Kids in the Woods

Forest Service Chief Gail Kimbell announced 16 new national recipients of its More Kids in the Woods funding.  By awarding $500,000 for a second year the U.S. Forest Service continues its commitment to help children begin to investigate and understand the benefits of our nation’s forests and grasslands. The Forest Service contribution plus matching funds and services from partners will top $2 million.  Partners in these projects represent schools, environmental and youth non-profit organizations, Native American Tribes, and other federal, state and local governments.

Continuing America’s conservation legacy into the future will depend on people who care about the natural wealth and the clean air, clean water and other ecological services forests and grasslands provide to America.  The Forest Service funding for More Kids in the Woods projects will help children be better prepared in the future to care for the land as they cope with climate change, demographic change, and demands for clean air, clean water and healthy wildlife habitats.

List of Projects

Investigating Winter Ecology – Montana:  Approximately 750 fifth grade students and their educators will explore the science of snow and participate in an outdoor adventure that 90 percent have never previously experienced.  Partners include:  Lewis and Clark National Forest, and National Historic Trail Interpretive Center, Great Falls Public Schools Environmental Education Department, NOAA, Get Fit Great Falls, Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the Montana Department of Natural Resources.

Total Project amount:  $81,080; challenge cost-share (CCS) request $19,471


Nature Sleuths – Montana:  More than 400 youth will participate in multiple outdoor/educational experiences, 80 percent for the first time.  This project will expand the highly successful Be Active Bitterroot Program by adding the “Snow Snoops” and “Friends of the Forest” components.  Partners include:  Bitterroot National Forest, Bitter Root RC&D, Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge, Bitterroot X-country Ski Club, Three Mile-Lone Rock Foundation, Lone Rock Park. Lone Rock School, Kids First Inc., Darby and Hamilton After School Program.

Total Project amount:  $74,100; CCS request: $24,200


Building Relationships with Inter City/Diverse Groups and the Environmental– Colorado:  This project will provide 1,500 underserved students ages 6 – 12 with a meaningful and unique residential outdoor experience through inquiry based learning techniques, natural resource careers discussions, and data collection.  Partners include:  Region 2 Office, Cal-Wood Education Center, Aurora Public Schools, Adams County, Boulder Valley, and St. Vrain School Districts, Anschutz Family Foundation, Community Foundation of Boulder, Arapahoe Roosevelt National Forest, Colorado State Forest Service, and Colorado Division of Wildlife, and University of Colorado.

Total Project amount:  $216,000; CCS request $33,000


Kids Diggin’ the Fossil Freeway – Nebraska/South Dakota:  This is a new educational outdoor program designed to introduce 200 youth to the geologic wonders and cultural resources along the Fossil Freeway corridor of western Nebraska and South Dakota.  Partners include:  Nebraska National Forest, Boys and Girls Clubs of the Nebraska Panhandle, Fossil Freeway Coalition, National Park Service, and The Mammoth Site of Hot Springs.

Total Project amount:  $39,740; CCS request: $12,704


Children’s Conservation Corps and Junior Forest Ranger Program – Arizona:  This project will expand an existing project to provide 285 youth and educators with meaningful and sustained outdoor experiences that increase awareness, understanding and stewardship of the natural world.  Partners include:  Prescott National Forest, Prescott College, University of AZ, several schools districts and non-profit organizations, BLM, the National Park Service, two native American Tribes, and AZ State Parks.

Total Project amount:  $175,000; CCS request $77,841


Canyon Country Outdoor Education – Utah:  This project is an outdoor experiential youth development program for high-risk, underrepresented, American Indian youth integrated into public lands service work crews.  The project will include outdoor adventure based activities, team building, service project and youth development skill building.  Partners include:  Manti La Sal National Forest, Four Corners School of Outdoor Education.

Total Project amount:  $76,000; CCS request $30,000


Environmental Connections – California:  This project will engage 63 underserved girls in meaningful, sustained outdoor experiences through youth stewardship, service learning and other outdoor activities such as recreational activities, watershed restoration and Leave No Trace.  Partners include:  Plumas National Forest, Women’s Mountain Passages, Plumas Rural Services, Unified School District, Probation Department, Department of Social Service, Feather River CRM, Mountain Circle Foster Family Agency, Roundhouse Council, Feather River College, Army Corps of Engineers, and FWS.

Total Project amount:  $42,336; CCS request: $20,000


FamCamp (Family Camping) – California:  Through the FamCamp Partnership Program, entire families with children 6 – 12 years old will be introduced to camping and environmental education activities within the Los Padres National Forest.  Partners include:  Los Padres National Forest, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, Boys and Girls Club, Los Padres Forest Association, Santa Barbara Zoo, University of California School of Education, Santa Barbara Unified School District, Rocky Mountain Recreation Company.

Total Project amount:  $33,000; CCS request: $10,000


Watershed and Wildlife Exploration Project – Oregon:  This project connects 150 middle and high school students (ages 8 – 18) with opportunities to engage in science inquiry and sustained ecosystem monitoring in a spectrum of natural areas, spanning inner city to more rural/remote sites.  Partners include:  Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Region 6 Office, PNW Research Station, BLM, Oregon State University, the Portland Urban League and Oregon Zoo.

Total Project amount:  $108,100; CCS request: $39,300


Earth Tomorrow:  Fostering Environmental Stewardship in Urban Teens of Color – Georgia:  This project will provide a year-long program of leadership training, issues exploration, civic engagement, immersion in the outdoors, career development, community outreach and student-lead conservation action projects for 700 Atlanta area youth – particularly youth of color.  Partners include:  Region 8 Office, National Wildlife Federation, Georgia Forestry Commission, Georgia State Parks, GA Bat Working Group, EPA, City of Atlanta, GA DNR, Georgia Wildlife Federation, Piedmont Park Conservancy, and a host of additional conservation and civic organizations.

Total Project amount:  $82,500; CCS request $20,000


Connection Urban Youth in Louisville to Nature – Kentucky:  This project will connect 200 fourth graders and 8 teachers to nature through multiple field trips, habitat restoration projects and professional development sessions.  Partners include:  Daniel Boone National Forest, Louisville Metro Parks, Jefferson County Public Schools, Metropolitan Sewer District, Jefferson Co. Soil and Water Conservation District, Louisville/ Jefferson County Information Consortium, Louisville Olmsted Conservancy, Portland Wharf Park, Preserve America Project, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Total Project amount:  $86,836; CCS request $36,459


Fall Forest Adventures – Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Minnesota:  This project will connect more than 12,000 people to the natural world through the expansion of Connecticut’s hugely successful Great Park Pursuit which leads families on an interactive journey to public lands.  Partners include:  Northeastern Area, Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, MA Department of Conservation and Recreation, MN Department of Natural Resources, PA Department of Conservation, and Natural Resources.

Total Project amount:  $138,000; CCS request: $60,000


Bronx Youth Urban Forestry Empowerment Program – New York:  This project will provide underserved youth from the Bronx sustained, hands-on education in tree care, tree identification, tree pit gardening, tree inventory and park land habitat restoration, outdoor recreational activities and two service learning projects.  Partners include:  Northern Research Station, Trees New York, NYC Housing Authority, Garden and Greening Program, various NYCHA Developments in the Bronx, Mosholu Montefiore Community Center, Forest Service Region 9, Urban Connections Program, and Black Rock Forest.

Total Project amount:  $73,000; CCS request: $35,000


Camp Oty’Okwa – Ohio:  This project will provide 580 children with outdoor education experiences and structured camping programs to increase their awareness and understanding of the natural world and benefits of forest ecosystems.  Partners include:  Northern Research Station, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ohio, Columbus City Schools (Dana Elementary), Delaware City Schools (Willis Intermediate), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ohio Division of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry, Wayne National Forest.

Total Project amount:  $66,433; CCS request: $22,940


Schoolyard Habitats Across Wisconsin – Sowing the Seeds of Environmental Literacy and Stewardship – Wisconsin:  Approximately 13,879 students will establish Schoolyard Habitats through a series of curriculum-based field trips, hands-on outdoor activities, and natural resource internships.  Partners include:  Region 9 Urban Connections Program, Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, UW-Madison Arboretum’s Earth Partnership for Schools.

Total Project amount:  $430,265; CCS request:  $39, 122


More Kids in the Chugach – Alaska:  This project will provide 20 underserved youth from Anchorage with two, one week educational and recreational camp experiences.  Partners include:  Chugach National Forest, Prince William Sound Science Center, Boy Scouts of Cordova, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Anchorage, Boys and Girls Club, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Llanka Cultural Center.

Total Project amount:  $30,577; CCS request: $11,019


US Forest Service
Last modified March 28, 2013

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