As heard on Morning Line: the Forest Service's Chugach National Forest has opportunities for youth from middle school to high school age which help young folks get out and enjoy nature, under a range of programs under the Chugach Children's Forest umbrella.
Chugach Children's Forest Youth Conservation Corp focuses on teens 15-18 years old, who learn safe work skills while installing fencing, signage and other trail maintenance tasks, as part of a fire fuel reduction project.
In June, a crew of eight youth called the Conservation Crew continued trail work, but also got a chance to do kayak-based coastal cleanup in Prince William Sound.
Partnership Staff Officer and Public Affairs Officer Alicia King says some of the effects are transformational, not just for the outdoor areas, but also for the youth.
Meanwhile, the Chugach Children's Forest Marine Stewardship Expedition is a week-long opportunity for middle schoolers to learn about oil spill impacts, scientific monitoring and career field exploration.
While these opportunities are thrust upon the youth by community nomination, further youth engagement is available and encouraged through a new app - called Agents of Discovery - which allows users of all ages to do a sort of digital scavenger hunt, learning animal info along the way.