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500 Florida School Kids Adopt New Skills Learned in the Great Outdoors

Posted by Susan Blake, National Forests in Florida, and Jane Knowlton, U.S. Forest Service Office of Communication in Forestry
Feb 21, 2017
Natural Resource Manager Carl Petrick of the National Forests in Florida looks on as a high school student sets his sights on the archery range. Nearly 500 students from area schools attended the recent More Kids in the Woods event. (Photo Credit: Susan Blake, Public Affairs Specialist, National Forests of Florida)
Natural Resource Manager Carl Petrick of the National Forests in Florida looks on as a high school student sets his sights on the archery range. Nearly 500 students from area schools attended the recent More Kids in the Woods event. (Photo Credit: Susan Blake, Public Affairs Specialist, National Forests of Florida)

What makes 500 middle and high school kids from area schools near Tallahassee, Fla., happy?  Getting outside and embracing the great outdoors during a week-long U.S. Forest Service event known as ‘More Kids in the Woods.’

During the five-day outdoor event , the kids developed new skills related to archery and using BB gun ranges, discovered wild turkey hunting, and immersed themselves in wildlife interpretive and forestry information, including a demonstration of a prescribed burn to learn more about the role fire plays in managing ecosystems.

“I have learned so much about the woods,” said Maria Joyner a student at Fort Braden Middle School. “I thought I knew a lot before, but I learned about wildfire and longleaf pine. It’s amazing!”

The program evolved as a result of a decline in outdoor activities among children. Today kids are more technology savvy and nature plays less of a role in their lives. With this in mind, the U.S. Forest Service, American Recreation Coalition and the National Forest Foundation developed the program to proactively support and promote a common belief that children need to be connected to nature.

“The Forest Service  ‘More Kids in the Woods’ grant  encourages children to learn more about the natural world and to experience outdoor activities along with exposing them to a variety of career paths in natural resources,” said Natural Resources Manager Carl Petrick of the National Forests in Florida.

http://www.fs.fed.us/
Category/Topic: Forestry