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Pacific Northwest Research Station

 
 
 
Pacific Northwest Research Station
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Portland, OR 97204

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News Releases: 2011

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Summer program connects youth with nature

USDA Forest Service
Pacific Northwest Research Station

Portland, OR: August 3, 2011

Contact: Becky Bittner, (503) 808-2599, bbittner@fs.fed.us

Media assistance: Sherri Richardson Dodge, (503) 808-2137, srichardsondodge@fs.fed.us

PORTLAND, Ore. August 3, 2011. This summer, about 400 children from Portland and Vancouver, Wash., are taking part in the Forests Inside Out! program to provide outdoor education opportunities to students from underserved communities. The program, which runs from August 1 to September 1, is partially funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

“ It’s gratifying to see kids who don’t get the opportunity to explore the outdoors take part in the camps,” says Becky Bittner, conservation education specialist with the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest (PNW) Research Station, a sponsor of Forests Inside Out! “I’ve been working in conservation for more than a decade and what’s really wonderful is that around here you don’t have to travel far to be in the great outdoors!”

Now in its third year, the program takes children ages 6 to 10 from communities in the Portland and Vancouver metropolitan area to sites in the city and along the Columbia River Gorge. During the program’s two-day format, the students explore the World Forestry Center and Hoyt Arboretum, and then go on ranger-led interpretive hikes in the Gorge. Participants come from the Boys and Girls Club in Portland and Hillsboro, Portland- and Vancouver-area community and child development centers, and Portland’s Schools Uniting Neighborhoods community schools program.

“ Nothing compares to getting students outside,” says Rob Pierce, education director for the World Forestry Center, one of the program’s sponsors. “And it’s important to give those who have never had the opportunity a chance to make that connection.”

As part of the program, eight high school students were hired as mentors to work with the younger participants and help them to connect with nature during their trips through sketching and journaling.

Forests Inside Out! Is a partnership of the Forest Service and the World Forestry Center. The program activities are structured around Project Learning Tree, a nationally recognized curriculum aimed at fostering an understanding of how forests and the environment work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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: Friday,31October2014 at12:51:48CDT


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