Excel as a High-Performing Agency

Skins and Skulls program finds an enthusiastic audience at Boston Children’s Hospital

MASSACHUSETTS – June 11-12, USDA Forest Service employees from the Green Mountain and Finger Lakes National Forests and the Boston Urban Connections Program teamed up with Seacrest Studios at Boston Children’s Hospital to hold a “Skins and Skulls” educational program and 75th birthday celebration for Smokey Bear.

The Skins and Skulls program was made available to patients in person and televised internally for those that were unable to attend. Forest Service employees worked with children to identify several mammals found in and around forests, animal identification, what type of habitat each animal thrives in, what each animal likes to eat and things that might threaten each animals’ survival. Animal skulls helped illustrate different teeth types and offered an opportunity to discuss sharp meat eating (carnivore) teeth compared to those that are designed more for eating plants / vegetation.

Smokey Bear made an appearance as the 'Greeter of the Day' spreading his messages about fire safety and wildfire prevention. Smokey interacted with almost 1,000 kids, parents and hospital staff – receiving many birthday hugs and fist bumps as he posed for group photos.

Smokey Bear and two Forest Service employees address a group of children.
Green Mountain and Finger Lakes Public Affairs Officer Ethan Ready and Ecosystem Services Staff Officer Dan McKinley join Smokey Bear for a live broadcast of the “skins and skulls” educational program from the Seacrest Studio at Boston Children’s Hospital. Photo courtesy of Boston Children’s Hospital.
Two Forest Service employees explain to a boy about the different skins of animals
Green Mountain and Finger Lakes Public Affairs Officer Ethan Ready and Ecosystem Services Staff Officer Dan McKinley share up close “skins and skulls” with a patient watching the educational program from the Seacrest Studio at Boston Children’s Hospital. Photo courtesy of Boston Children’s Hospital.
Forest Service employee on internal television screen
Green Mountain and Finger Lakes National Forest’s Public Affairs Officer Ethan Ready was part of a live broadcast from the Boston Children’s Hospital’s Seacrest Studio sharing information on “skins and skulls” from animals that can be found on national forests. USDA Forest Service photo.