USDA Forest Service

Pacific Northwest Research Station

Pacific Northwest Research Station
333 SW First Ave.
Portland, OR 97204

(503) 808-2100

US Forest Service


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Canopy Connections’ program receives national award to keep kids climbing, learning


USDA Forest Service
Pacific Northwest Research Station

Portland, OR: May 27, 2010


Kathy Keable, (541) 822-6303,

Yasmeen Sands, (360) 753-7716,

PORTLAND, Ore. May 27, 2010. Students will take their learning and outdoor experiences to new heights on the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest, thanks to an award from the USDA Forest Service. The competitive award, formally announced by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, is one of only 21 issued to conservation education programs across the country as part of the “More Kids in the Woods” challenge, which promotes active lifestyles and connects children to nature by funding conservation education activities.

“ If we are going to put an end to childhood obesity, we must promote healthy, active lifestyles and encourage our kids to get off the couch and go outside,” Vilsack said, in his announcement of the recipients. “‘More Kids in the Woods’ helps kids make the connection between healthy forests, healthy communities, and their own healthy lifestyles.”

The H.J. Andrews-based program, known as “Canopy Connections,” annually hosts about 100 students from primarily underserved middle schools in the Eugene-Springfield communities of Oregon. One of more than 130 programs considered as part of the competitive challenge, it was selected for its ability to provide students with opportunities for quiet observation time, creative writing, and art and science inquiries that are centered on personal, guided ascents 70 feet into the forest’s old-growth Douglas-fir canopy.

“ What makes our program so wonderful and unique is that it’s not only an educational activity, but involves a physical challenge as well,” said Kathy Keable, site manager of the forest. “Students safely climb up into the canopy as they learn about forest ecosystems and all of the associated communities that live in old-growth forests.”

“ Canopy Connections” is a partnership of the station, Pacific Tree Climbing Institute, and the Environmental Leadership Program at the University of Oregon, whose students help to develop the program’s curricula. It is one of many educational outreach programs centered at H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest, a research site located in Blue River, Oregon, that is cooperatively managed by the station, Oregon State University, and the Willamette National Forest.

This is the fourth year that the Forest Service has matched funds and in-kind contributions from partners for “More Kids in the Woods,” which aims to promote physical activity and foster environmental awareness and stewardship among young people. Partners—including local, state, and federal agencies, and American Indian tribes—contributed more than $1.5 million in funding and in-kind services in this year’s challenge-cost share program.

To learn more about H.J. Andrews and its outreach and research programs, including “Canopy Connections,” visit and




The PNW Research Station is headquartered in Portland, Oregon. It has 11 laboratories and centers located in Alaska, Oregon, and Washington and about 425 employees.

US Forest Service - Pacific Northwest Research Station
Last Modified: Monday,01August2016 at10:15:07CDT

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