‘Our City Forest’ Program Reaches City Students

IMG_7321The program is called “Our City Forest” – a free program for area students run by Springfield Parks Department, ReGreen Springfield, and the U.S Forest Service.

The thought is if they work with kids early on, it provides long-term benefits for students and the city. “The neat thing about this project here. It’s taken place in an area…an area of a lot of crime, but if we can have the youth focus in on projects where they won’t join a gang. The idea is to keep them out of the gangs, in school, enrich their education,” explained David Bloniarz of the U.S. Forest Service.

The mission is to use hands-on activities, like tree bingo, to learn what we can find in our own urban activities.  “What they can see in their own urban spaces.  We’re not looking at big deers or things like that.  We’re looking at raccoons, coyotes, birds, and all the other things they’ll see in Forest Park, Blunt Park, or Van Horn,” said Bloniarz. “It gives you a learning experience for life and to encourage you to do things to help out the community,” added 10-year-old Samara Abraham.

Click Here to learn more about the ‘Our City Forest’ program.

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