Agency conservation education grants will benefit children's projects in 18 states
On March 2nd, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the USDA's $1 million in cost-share funding from the U.S. Forest Service to enhance children's programs in 18 states. The programs encourage kids to connect to the outdoors and explore nature. These Forest Service grants coincide with President Obama's America's Great Outdoors initiative and Michelle Obama's Let's Move! program.
"These programs provide an essential connection to our great outdoors, which we hope can be a key part of growing up for children from all walks of life," said Secretary Vilsack. "We need kids to experience the wonders of the great outdoors and take ownership of the future of natural resources. Today's children are tomorrow's stewards of the land."
The funding will be distributed to the USDA’s More Kids in the Woods and Children's Forests programs. More Kids in the Woods projects include activities and programs designed to spark curiosity about nature and promote learning. Children's Forests develops outdoor spaces on national or state protected areas, in urban parks and at schools.
"These grants strengthen our bonds with communities with a bottom line goal of getting kids to explore and appreciate America's great outdoors," said US Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. "There are few things more gratifying for me than seeing our youth gain an appreciation for the amazing landscapes we have in this country."
The 2012 More Kids in the Woods grants are awarded to:
- Alabama: More Kids in the Central Alabama Woods, Alabama National Forests
- Alaska: Yakutat Future Scientists, Tongass National Forest
- Alaska: Angoon Outdoor Skills Initiative, Tongass National Forest
- Arizona: Yellow Belly Ponderosa Performance Outreach, Kaibab National Forest
- California: Big Bear Discovery Center's Nature Explore Classroom, San Bernardino National Forest
- California: A Century of Leaders: Invoking the Vision of Teddy Roosevelt, Sequoia National Forest
- Colorado: Stormwater Habitat Education Development, or WaterSHED, Rocky Mountain Research Station and Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest
- Idaho: Boise Youth Engagement in Nature, Boise National Forest
- Idaho: Mountains to Meadows: The Boulder Creek Study, Payette National Forest
- Michigan: Our LAND – Learn, Admire, Nurture, Dream, Forest Service Regional Office and the Huron-Manistee and Hiawatha National Forests
- Montana: Pioneering Discoveries: A Natural and Cultural Resources Field Camp for Tribal High School Students, Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest
- Montana: Discovering Flathead's Feathered Friends, Enhancing Schoolyard and National Forest Habitat, Flathead National Forest
- Montana: Kids in the Headwaters, Lolo National Forest
- Nebraska: Get Outdoors With Conservation, Climate & Careers!, Nebraska National Forests and Grasslands
- New Mexico: Children's Water Festival Enhancement Project, Gila National Forest
- New Mexico: Connecting Kids to the River Forest, Santa Fe National Forest
- Oregon: Stewardship in the Woods on 3 Forests, Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest
- Oregon: Immersion in Nature, Willamette National Forest
- Pennsylvania: Partners in Education, Northern Research Station
- South Carolina: Sewee Earth Stewards, Francis Marion National Forest
- Texas: More Kids in the Pineywoods, Angelina-Sabine National Forest
- Utah: The EVOLVE Project, Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest
- Wyoming: National Fishing in Schools Program, Shoshone National Forest
The 2012 Children’s Forest Grants are awarded to:
The mission of the U.S. Forest Service is to sustain the health of the country’s forests and grasslands to manage these resources so they can meet the needs of present and future Americans. The agency manages 193 million acres and recreational activities on Forest Service lands contribute $14.5 billion annually to the U.S. economy.