Youth Forest Stewards (YFS)

About the Program

The Youth Forest Stewards (YFS) is a program that engages high school aged students (age 14-18) in natural resources and conservation based work outdoors. YFS students will participate in up to 6 forest stewardship volunteer projects between the summer months of May through September. Each project will differ and may include: new trail construction, tree thinning, fish surveys, wildlife habitat restoration, and much more! The culmination of the summer program will result in the students planning, promoting, and leading a volunteer project of their own in September. By joining the YFS crew, you will help build a community of like-minded students focused on bettering the White River National Forest.

Student Benefits

  • Build friendships

  • Earn community service hours for school

  • Opportunity to apply for FDRD’s $2,500 college scholarship

  • Develop meaningful skills and connections in the natural resources field

  • Leadership development and resume building workshops

  • Make a difference on the public lands of Summit County

Student Expectations

  • Must be 14-18 years old

  • Provide your own transportation to all project locations (within Summit County)

  • Dress appropriately for each project and bring an adequate amount of water and food for the day

  • A positive attitude and engagement in each project – this is a program for students who already have an interest in forest stewardship

  • Attend at least 5 of the project dates (listed below) in order to graduate the program – if a day is missed, the participant can work with instructors to make up that date. *SEPTEMBER PROJECT IS REQUIRED*

2023 Project Dates

  • June 3, 2023: National Trails Day with USFS Recreation (bridge building or trail maintenance)

  • June 29: Restoration Project (i.e. campsite rehabilitation)

  • July 13: Fish Shocking with USFS Fish Biologist and Technicians

  • July 20: Forest Regeneration Surveys with USFS Foresters

  • August 9: Invasive Plant Management with USFS Botanist

  • September 30: National Public Lands Day with USFS Recreation (bridge building or trail maintenance)

“I’ve learned quite a bit about how they put the trails together. How they build the fences, how they put the turnpikes together, and also how to use a couple tools that I’ve never used before. I think it’s been very valuable. I’ve learned a lot of different things, I’ve got to meet a lot of different people, and I got to be outside which is really fun.”

Brayden, 2021 YFS