Conservation Education Grants Awarded

Release Date: Mar 6, 2012  

Contact(s): Edna Rey Vizgirdas


BOISE, MCCALL, ID – The Boise and Payette National Forests were awarded nearly $96,000 dollars through three cost share grants from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack that are designed to get underserved kids outdoors and connected to the natural world.

A More Kids in the Woods $32,400 dollar grant received by the Boise National Forest will engage thousands of local youth in forest experiences that focus on restoring watershed habitat.

The grant will be used to help develop a forest ecology site at the MK Nature Center, facilitate student involvement with such events as Kokanee Days in Boise County and Salmon/Steelhead Days in Boise, and fund transportation to take students to watershed restoration project sites. 

The Payette NF received $14,400 in funding for the More Kids in the Woods program, along with $48,800 for the Children’s Forests program.

Those grants will promote existing and new youth projects in the McCall vicinity for stream investigations, service learning projects, riparian restoration, conservation field days and native plant propagation. The McCall Outdoor Science School (MOSS) is a partner who will incorporate science inquiry into the conservation education program.   

 “What’s good about these programs is seeing our youth gain an appreciation for the amazing landscapes we have in our area,” said Boise National Forest Supervisor Cecilia Seesholtz. “Working with excellent partner’s students will develop better understandings of forest management by being directly involved with important forest and watershed restoration efforts.”

Partners involved in the grant included the Ted Trueblood Chapter of Trout Unlimited and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.  Trout Unlimited is sponsoring a "Trout Camp" as part of the grant, which brings underserved youth to a fly fishing camp the USFS and TU provide kids at Dutch Creek along the Middle Fork Boise River. TU will also take a lead role for the Payette National Forest programs.

"One of the most satisfying experiences an adult can have is to provide an opportunity for a child to wonder and enjoy nature,” said Pam Elkovitch, Trout Unlimited Boise Watershed Coordinator. “Together, Trout Unlimited and the Forest Service have been quite successful in bringing the magic of nature to kids; this program allows us to touch many more."

More Kids in the Woodsprojects include activities and programs designed to spark curiosity about nature and promote learning.  The core mission of the Children's Forest program is to get young people to take a leadership role in forest management by giving them a voice in caring for the land involving developed outdoor sites on national forests, in urban parks or at schools

More information is available from Edna Rey Vizgirdas at 208-373-4264 or Leigh Bailey at