WSU Whatcom County Extension

Stewardship is Where You Are

Park Patrol

The Big Picture

While many parks may contain forests, a lot of the forests you may see may owned by individuals and families. Would you like to own a forest? What would you do with a forest if you owned one? What do you think is involved in caring for a forest? How are forests a natural resource?

In this series of activities you will get to learn some of the basics of owning a forest: keeping it healthy, making it strong and recognizing its potential as a renewable natural resource. Unlike many food crops that are renewed every year, a crop of timber sometimes only matures once in a lifetime! Caring for a forest as an investment can be a big job!  You will learn some of the basics about caring for a forest as a natural resource.

Explorer - Skill Level: One Engager - Skill Level: Two Citizen Scientist - Skill Level: Three


Small Forest Land Owners in Washington

Activity: Evaluate a Forest

Objective: Map and design a management plan for a small forest transect

Science Skills:  Evaluate, Infer, Communicate, Problem Solve, Design and Implement Solutions

Life Skills: Wise Use of Resources, Communication

Preparation Activities:
Examine and discuss the map “Washington State Small Forest Land Owners.” Ask questions about size and density of privately owned small forests in your county. What happens when a forest is harvested? How often is a family owned forest harvested?  
Call ahead to see if you can schedule a field day to one of the forestry sites in “It’s All Connected.”  Identify a local independent forester willing to let the youth study their forest and answer questions.

What You Will Need:  GPS, pencil, ruler, string, washer, protractor, measuring tape, calculator, colored plastic ribbon, Forest Stewardship Plan

Activity: Complete a Forest Stewardship Inventory or a small transect of a local forest. Talk about your findings with the forest owner/manager.

  1. Print off a copy of the Forest Stewardship Plan
  2.  Find a small forest you can study
  3. Identify the parameters of your ploy/transect and mark them off or record the coordinates with a GPS
  4.  Complete the inventory identifying as much as you can
  5. Report your findings to the forest manager


Asking the Right Questions: How do all the elements of an ecosystem contribute in constructing a forest plan?



Natural Resource Stewards


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Explore More

Map of Washington State Small Forest Land Owners (pdf)

4-H Forest Stewardship Plan (pdf)

Backyard Forestry (pdf)

Backyard Forest Health in Washington

US Forest Service: Citizen Scientists

Earth Corps

Washington DNR Forest Practices

Pacific Northwest Research Station

Washington Farm Forestry Association

Arbor Day Foundation: Back Yard Woods


It's All Connected

Herman Miller 4-H Park
Meridian, North Bellingham
Mick Blakely

Tom Westergreen – local forest owner
Sumas/Everson  966-3605

Bob Barker local forest owner

Jack Hovde   local forest owner
South Lake Whatcom / Bellingham

Russ Pfeiffer-Hoyt  local forest owner
Acme    595-2512

Interested in helping youth learn about this Natural Resource? Contact your 4-H Educator to be considered as an educational resource!

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WSU Whatcom County Extension, 1000 North Forest Street, Suite 201, Bellingham, WA 98225, (360) 778-5800, Contact Us