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 seven forest stewardship volunteer projects between the summer months of June 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 $2,000 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 (not quite there yet? Email Maddie for possible exceptions!)

  • Provide your own transportation to all project locations or nearby meeting spots (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

  • 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.

2024 Project Dates

  • Saturday, June 15: Trail maintenance project

  • Wednesday, June 26: Willow planting for riverbank restoration

  • Saturday, July 13: County-wide weed pull

  • Wednesday, July 24: Fish shocking survey

  • Saturday, August 10: Copper Mountain native seed collection

  • Saturday, August 24: Forest health regeneration survey

  • Saturday, September 28: National Public Lands Day trail project and YFS recognition ceremony

Applications are closed for the season.

“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