Junior Forest Steward Program to See Big Changes in 2015

Posted: December 15, 2014

The Junior Forest Stewards Program is morphing into the Future Forest Steward Program, to launch mid-2015.

It has been said that change creates space for something new to emerge, and I believe these “somethings” often turn out to be great opportunities. In 2007, The Pennsylvania Forest Stewardship Program introduced a “patch recognition” initiative for youth called the Junior Forest Steward Program. The objectives of the effort were to teach youth about the importance of private forestland stewardship, get them involved in a hands-on stewardship activity, and provide participants with recognition (an embroidered patch) to help them remember the lessons they learned. Since its beginning, the Junior Forest Steward Program has utilized local adult volunteers to successfully reach over 8000 youth in public and private schools, 4-H, Scouting, camps, parks, and nature centers.

However, a decline in the previous funding source and a need to replenish program materials has brought about some exciting new ideas, funding, and plans to redesign the program. Because of this, the current Junior Forest Steward Program will be phased out on December 31, 2014 and in its place the “Future Forest Steward Program” will launch statewide in mid-2015 for youth ages 8-15. Many of the program elements will be the same and others will change. For example, the youth publication will be enhanced with new content, the recognition items may vary, and a series of short online videos will supplement the curriculum. Stay tuned, stay positive, and be on the lookout for this new, old program.

Contact Information

Sanford S. Smith, Ph.D.
  • Senior Lecturer in Forest Resources and Extension Education
Phone: 814-865-4261