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Youth play, work and learn on Superior National Forest



Young men and women removing invasive thistle at Vermillion Falls recreation area during a trip to Superior National Forest. Forest Service photo.

MILWAUKEE

– In June and July, the Forest Service partnered with non-profit Wilderness Inquiry to take youth on two educational camping trips to Minnesota’s Superior National Forest.

The 24 youth and counselors, four Wilderness Inquiry expedition leaders and four Forest Service staff and interns learned about forest soils, vegetation, fire management, wildlife tracking, and air quality monitoring from Forest Service scientists. Each group did a service project that involved releasing pine seedlings from surrounding vegetation and removing invasive thistle from a popular recreation area. They also visited local community colleges that feature natural resources and recreation studies. When not working or learning about the area, participants had the opportunity to canoe with Wilderness Inquiry staff, hike, play games around the campfire and play capture the flag with a Smokey bandana.

For some participants, this was their first extended interaction with the outdoors. In the words of one participant with no prior camping experience, “For it being my first time it was actually pretty nice! Now that I’ve been here, I would come back. Kawishiwi Falls, that image will always be there. It looked amazing! If I could hike there again I probably would.”