USDA Forest Service

Pacific Northwest Research Station

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

(503) 808-2100

US Forest Service


News Releases: 2009

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Outdoor program provides activities for about 300 underserved children

Forest Service, World Forestry Center, and others partner to create program


USDA Forest Service
Pacific Northwest Research Station

Portland, OR September 4, 2009


Sherri Richardson Dodge, (503) 808-2137,

PORTLAND, Ore., September 4, 2009. This summer, Forests Inside Out! was launched to get city children out into nature. The new program offered 300 children immersive and unforgettable indoor and outdoor experiences. The children, ages 6 to 10, came from diverse and underserved communities in the Portland and Vancouver metropolitan area.

“ This program promotes an active, outdoor lifestyle for young children who may not otherwise get into the woods and learn about nature and science,” says Bov Eav, Station Director of the Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station, one of the funding partners for Forests Inside Out!

The program’s activities were presented in a 2-day format. On the first day, students experienced outdoor activities close to the city at the World Forestry Center, Oregon Zoo, and Hoyt Arboretum. The second day began with stewardship activities at the Sandy River Delta and ended with a hike from Horsetail Falls to Ponytail Falls in the Columbia River Gorge.

“ We are delighted to partner with the U.S. Forest Service to give urban children an introduction to forests through [the Agency’s] More Kids in the Woods program. Many kids growing up in urban settings do not have the chance to experience being out in the woods,” says Gary Hartshorn, President and Chief Executive Officer for the World Forestry Center.

Mentors and guides for the youngsters included older children who are graduates of the Inner City Youth Institute, another outdoor program made possible through a partnership between the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Oregon State University, and Portland Public Schools. These teen and now college-age students worked with the younger participants each day, helping them experience and learn more through photography, sketching, and journaling.

Children who participated in the summer-long program came from the Boys and Girls Club in Portland and Hillsboro; the YMCA in Vancouver and Orchards, Washington; and Buckman and Lynchwood Elementary Schools in Portland.
The program, which began August 3 and ran through September 4, was made possible through a partnership among the Forest Service’s PNW Research Station, World Forestry Center, National Forest Foundation, Oregon Zoo, Americorp, Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Region, Inner City Youth Institute, and Portland Parks and Recreation.

Forests Inside Out!—was awarded $28,900 through a matching cost-share program (More Kids in the Woods) offered through the Forest Service. More than 197 programs vied for the awards; 17 were chosen. Partners’ matching funds brought the total program funding to $73,250. Becky Bittner, the Station’s Environmental Education Coordinator, and Rick Zenn, Education Director at the World Forestry Center in Portland, directed the sessions and prepared the project proposal.

(NOTE: Links to photos for your use. Caption: Four children in the Forest Inside Out! program play a game about the importance of water, sunlight, and nutrients in tree growth with (left to right) program counselor Jessica Vogel, Station Director Bov Eav, and Gary Hartshorn, President and Chief Executive Officer of the World Forestry Center.)

US Forest Service - Pacific Northwest Research Station
Last Modified: Monday,01August2016 at10:14:55CDT

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