Workforce Development: Youth and Arboriculture

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Inspiring Youth with Trees: Potential Career Pathways in Arboriculture and Urban Forestry
Photo by Friends of the Urban Forest

During May 2018, the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Workforce Summit convened at the Bartlett Tree Experts lab in North Carolina to explore solutions for key industry workforce challenges. One of the challenges identified was a low number of new arborists entering the field, in part due to minimal youth awareness of arboricultural career opportunities prior to high school graduation. As the first step in reaching the next generation of arborists and urban foresters, the USDA Forest Service funded a project to research grade K-12 resources that introduce youth to nature, trees, arboriculture and urban forestry. The project team investigated youth resources that not only inspire career opportunities, but also increase knowledge and foster stewardship toward trees, forests, and nature. The approximately 65 resources found vary in their target audience, reach, and methods in educating youth; yet, all approaches were creative and impactful. Four resources were developed as case studies for this report.

What are we doing with this information? The goal of this project was to first understand what resources are currently available and next to seek industry partner input on ways to maximize the impact of existing efforts or create new resources. The compiled list is not exhaustive. Project partners welcome input on additional youth resources to add to the list. The full list of resources can be found below as a downloadable Excel document and the final report (found below as a downloadable PDF) summarizes the findings of this project.

List of Youth Resources (click to download)

Final Report (click to download)

For more information about this final report, please contact:

Holly Campbell, Southern Regional Extension Forestry,

Beattra Wilson, USDA Forest Service,



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