Junior Forest Ranger Patch Program
The Maryland Junior Forest Ranger Patch Program was created in 2006 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Maryland Forest Service. The patches are awarded to students who complete a designated number of activities concerning trees, urban forests and natural resources in general. The number of activities is dependent upon age.
Out of 20 possible activities, these age levels are required to complete :
- Kindegarten: 3 activities
- 1st - 3rd grade: 4 activities
- 4th - 6th grade: 5 activities
- 7th - 8th grade: 6 activities
- 9th - 12th grade: 7 activities
Examples of possible activities :
- Adopt a tree in your schoolyard or meeting place and create a tree journal with observations and personal notes : identify the tree from the leaves and measure the diameter, create bark rubbings, draw the tree during different seasons showing how the canopy changes, write a poem about the tree, etc.
- Learn how to plant seedlings or a containerized tree and then do some plantings. Learn how to care for the trees/seedlings such as how to water, mulch and fertilize correctly.
- Identify 6 forest trees common to the area where you live and tell how both wildlife and humans use them.
- Participate or organize an Arbor Day activity or an Earth Day celebration. Contact your local Forestry Board to find out more about their activities.
- Identify 3 or more college degree programs in the fields of forestry or natural resources. Compare the course requirements and list career possibilities with each of the degrees. Try to visit or speak with someone enrolled in the program or a faculty member.
- Create your own urban forestry plan for adding trees to a street, yard or park near you. Show what types of native trees you would like to see planted.
- Attend the Natural Resources Careers Camp in Garrett County, Maryland - a weeklong camp held in July for high school students in the Mid-Atlantic region - to learn more about a career in forestry.
The program is run by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources in Annapolis. A detailed description of the program and how to apply for a patch can be found in this pdf at http://www.dnr.state.md.us/forests/download/patch_program.pdf . Information about other programs for kids and young adults can be found at http://www.dnr.state.md.us/forests/kidzone.asp.