OHIO SFI IMPLEMENTATION COMMITTEE
Partners with Camp Canopy to Offer Youth Field Experiences
Camp Canopy for Teenagers Interested in Forestry
Why This Project Matters
Fostering an appreciation and understanding of the natural world is critical to healthy mental and physical development in youth. But today’s American and Canadian kids spend more time indoors than previous generations. Camp Canopy is a week-long camp for teenagers interested in forestry, wildlife, and conservation. Its goal is to educate youth and inspire them to explore the fields of forestry and wildlife. This project, supported by the Ohio Forestry Association and the Ohio SFI Implementation Committee, will enhance the campers experience by supporting field tours, and supplying field equipment to use during class.
Why is SFI Involved?
The SFI Community Engagement Grant Program is supporting this project.A key component of SFI’s community engagement work is educating youth to ensure they can be effective future leaders who have a strong understanding of the value of sustainably managed forests. SFI offers teacher training and engages students in environmental education through Project Learning Tree(PLT) activities. PLT is an initiative of SFI that uses trees and forests as windows on the world to increase youth understanding of the environment and actions they can take to conserve it. PLT activities are often incorporated into Camp Canopy lesson plans. Ohio PLT has also supported the camp for many years.
For some campers, the connection between forests and people is well known and classes serve to elevate their knowledge. For others, their first forest experiences happen at Camp Canopy. Camp staff have been working for the past few years to expand their reach into underserved communities, a shared SFI priority. In 2017, Camp Canopy increased the diversity of campers to include campers from urban cities, such as Cleveland. Camp staff are also working with camp supporters to offer sponsorships to help youth in underserved areas get to camp.
How the project builds SFI community engagement
Camp Canopy works to leverage the engagement of SFI Implementation Committees. All members of Ohio’s SFI committee help to support the camp. The camp also has many community supporters that help in various roles — from engaging youth to sign up for camp to serving as camp instructors.
During camp silviculture classes, sustainable forestry practices are taught using examples of logging practices implemented on Ohio’s state forests, which are certified to SFI. In 2016, campers toured an active timber harvest at the camp. The harvest was administered by a professional forester and harvested by an Ohio Certified Master Logger, whose training included SFI accreditation.
This partnership includes researchers, conservationists, government, and SFI Program Participants.
- Project lead: The Ohio Forestry Association and the Ohio SFI Implementation Committee
- Sustainable Forestry Initiative
- The Ohio Forestry Association
- Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife
- Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts
- Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry
- The Ohio State University School of Environment and Natural Resources