The Bureau of Reclamation will once again join forces with the U.S. Forest Service to help plant tree seedlings in damaged areas within the Shasta-Trinity National Forest.
This year’s Scouting for Trees event will take place Saturday, March 3, at the Ackerman Campground in the Lewiston National Recreation Area, below Trinity Dam, 40 miles west of Redding, Calif.
Over the past eight years, almost 3,000 Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts and other youth volunteers with their families have planted more than 35,000 trees. Scouts and volunteers plant trees and take part in planned natural resource conservation education activities. These education activities include focusing on tree growth, reforestation monitoring, plant identification, forestry, fire ecology, fire prevention, animal track identification, wildflowers and soil and water conservation. The focus of the day is planting bare-root and container-grown tree seedlings. Each participant will receive a special appreciation card, a commemorative patch, an event t-shirt and a hot lunch.
"There is a real interest in connecting youth to their public lands," said Kathleen Jordan, Scouting for Trees Coordinator for the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. "The kids get hands-on experience planting trees in a damaged area, and they learn the importance of this kind of effort. Scouts who plant trees learn not only the proper way to plant and care for trees, but they learn to give their time to a project that requires faith in the future, because these trees may live longer than they do. Scouts who participate have become better stewards of their public lands."
The Scouting for Trees program started on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest in the late 1940s. A community partnership was formed in 2004 to enhance the event by including Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and their families. Reclamation is supporting the effort as part of President Barack Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative (http://americasgreatoutdoors.gov/) which seeks to empower Americans to share in the responsibility to conserve, restore and provide better access to our lands and waters and leave a healthy and vibrant outdoor legacy for generations to come. Getting youth and their families outdoors, hiking and planting trees also follow First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Outside initiative which promotes outdoor physical activity for children and families (http://www.letsmove.gov/lets-move-outside). Let’s Move Outside encourages young people to connect with nature through outdoor activities that improve fitness and teach important lessons in stewardship and conservation.
Partners in the Scouting for Trees event include the U.S. Forest Service; Bureau of Reclamation; Youth Program Supporters of Shasta, Tehama, and Trinity Counties; Rotary Club of Redding; Society of American Foresters; Shasta College Natural Resources Department; California Conservation Corps; Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts of America.