Youth and Public Education Rebounding
at Hopkins Demonstration Forest

Peter Matzka, Forest Educator

OSU Extension’s Forestry Education Program at the 140-acre Hopkins Demonstration Forest provided 125 forest-based educational programs and four college level courses in 2022. These programs ranged from elementary to college grade level, serving over 4,500 people in 2022.

Many local districts took the opportunity to get their middle school students some outdoor education experience since most missed their opportunity earlier during the Covid-19 shutdown. Several schools from west Clackamas County came to Hopkins for an Outdoor School-type of experience, with programing developed and delivered by OSU Clackamas County’s Forest Educator. Youth explored the forest and learned about wildlife and aquatic habitat, the food chain, plant and animal identification, wildfire risk/safety, forest management, forest soils, and map reading skills. While the days focused on natural resources education, they also provided some missed social time in the outdoors for Clackamas’s youth.