We are pleased to announce the establishment of the Mount St. Helens Children’s Forest through a grant to the Gifford Pinchot National Forest from the Chief of the Forest Service. The funding will be used to expand forest-based education and wellness programs and to develop innovative approaches to engage children in ecological research, citizen science, environmental stewardship and outdoor recreation. Programs will include multi-day outdoor educational adventures, field-based research and career-building activities.
Partners include the Mount St. Helens Institute, Vancouver Summer Adventures and local schools. In the months ahead, the Gifford Pinchot National Forest and associated partners will begin implementing Children’s Forest projects at Mount St. Helens.
In 2012, a growing national network of Children’s Forests reached an estimated 230,000 children. Children’s Forests are centered around developed outdoor spaces on national or state forests, in urban parks or at schools. The core mission of a Children’s Forest is to get young people to take a leadership role in forest stewardship by giving them a voice in caring for the land. Learn more at http://blogs.usda.gov/tag/childrens-forest/