Diamond Fork Youth Forest (DFYF) Conservation Education Program

Diamond Fork Youth Forest Logo


Educational Objective

To create an enjoyable and challenging learning environment for youth to stimulate discovery, awareness and understanding of our natural resources through conservation education curriculums Photo of girls working on a science project.and self-exploration and discovery days in a working Urban National Forest. The Youth Forest provides first-hand opportunities to develop communication, planning, presentation and data gathering skills while serving as a model conservation education project. Through critical thinking and action, participating youth will become a part of solving, today’s natural resource issues while preparing tomorrow’s leaders to undertake the challenges of the future. Grade-level and site-specific natural resource conservation education curriculums, instructor guides and activity books will increase awareness and understanding of interrelationships in natural systems and between people and the land. Forest history, proper field-equipment use and interpretive materials will also be incorporated as conservation education components.

Target Audience

Annually, approximately 120 elementary and secondary students in grades 3-12 and their teachers participate in Diamond Fork Youth Forest programs. It is anticipated that thousands of students within the area served by the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest will benefit directly and indirectly from the DFYF programs through student produced newsletters, word-of mouth and special events and national programs such as Hands on the Land, Take Pride in Utah, Juniors Acquiring Knowledge, Ethics & Sportsmanship field days (JAKES) and National Trail Days.


The DFYF, a natural outdoor laboratory, will host fourclasses from local schools providing varying levels of experiences for youth, regardless of ability or disability to participate in a wide range of recreational and educational opportunities. Students in grades 3-9 Photo of students gathering river specimans.will experience the self-exploration and discovery days, while students in grades 10-12 will assist with training facilitation and on-the-ground support. In addition, mentally and physically challenged students in grades K-5 will also have the opportunity to engage in self-exploration and discovery days. Participating students and a cadre of DFYF partners will collaborate to create an open forum for cultural and social exchange while fostering critical thinking, understanding and awareness of stewardship. Self-exploration and discovery days will be documented, evaluated and placed on the Hands on the Land website, allowing students to share their progress with students across the country. 

Photo of student looking to see what specimans they caught in their nets.The DFYF, located approximately 45 minutes from Provo, Utah on the Spanish Fork Ranger District of the Uinta National Forest covers about 100,000 acres. The Diamond Fork watershed offers a variety of resource management issues including grazing, recreation, noxious weeds, sensitive and threatened species and fisheries and wildlife habitat protection. Existing curriculums do not allow opportunities for youth to actively engage in the day-to-day operation of natural resource management in a working urban National Forest. The DFYF curriculums, guides and activity books created by collaborating students, teachers and DFYF partners will integrate and diversify the outdoor classroom experience with an understanding of awareness and stewardship, natural resource conservation education, cultural and social values.

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