SFI Funds Community-Based Education and Green Building Projects

Jun 20, 2011, 11:00 ET from Sustainable Forestry Initiative

WASHINGTON, June 20, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) has awarded a total of $35,200 in grants to nine community-based projects to support forestry education activities and green building for low-income families.

The projects are an extension of the SFI Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant Program, which has committed more than $1 million to date to help build knowledge, support landowner outreach, strengthen global supply chains, and deliver countless benefits in forests and communities across the United States and Canada. Partner contributions will leverage additional resources, raising the total value of the projects to $4.2 million.

In recognition of International Year of Forests 2011, SFI Inc. announced earlier this year it would award grants for smaller, community-based projects. Through the involvement of partners, the total value of the nine projects announced today will be close to $100,000.

Dick Brinker, Dean Emeritus at Auburn University's School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences and a member of the SFI Board of Directors, said the education projects are important for the future of North America's forests. "We need to actively reconnect our youth to the forest and outdoors if we want to conserve forests now and in the future," he said. "By supporting these projects, SFI and its partners are creating the responsible citizens and future resource professionals we will need to keep our forests strong and healthy."

The SFI-funded community projects announced today include:

  • The Chattahoochee Chapter Society of American Foresters will invite Boy and Girl Scouts in the Metropolitan Atlanta area to its Walk in the Forest Field Day where they can learn about the forestry profession and benefits of sustainable forestry.
  • The Evans Lake Forest Education Society will host a Forest Education Symposium for educators at its center in Squamish, British Columbia.
  • The Forest Foundation will arrange field trips for high school students and teachers in California to help them learn about sustainable forest management.
  • The Hardwood Forestry Fund will plant 23,000 hardwood seedlings on idle agricultural land in Wisconsin to maintain ecological and economic success of the forest.
  • Lauderdale County Habitat for Humanity will sponsor a Habitat home using SFI-certified products and certified to the ANSI National Green Building Standard.
  • The Mississippi SFI Implementation Committee will sponsor incentives for team competition in National FFA Association and 4-H forestry contests to promote awareness of sustainable forestry among students and their leaders, educators and advisors.
  • The National 4-H Forestry Invitational will show youth how forests grow, the role forests play in their own lives, and how forests are managed to provide multiple benefits.
  • National Housing Endowment will receive funding to cover certification fees for 25 Habitat for Humanity homes to be green certified to the ANSI National Green Building Standard.
  • The Northwest Natural Resources Institute will show teachers how forest professionals manage lands as part of its annual Natural Resources Teacher Workshop in Washington State.

SFI Inc. created the Conservation and Community Partnerships Grant program in 2010 to build upon the more than $1.2 billion SFI program participants have contributed since 1995 for research activities, including forestry research, science and technology. The SFI 2010-2014 Standard is based on 14 core principles that promote sustainable forest management, including measures to protect water quality, biodiversity, wildlife habitat, species at risk, and Forests with Exceptional Conservation Value, and encourages community involvement.

About SFI Inc.

SFI Inc. is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization, and is solely responsible for maintaining, overseeing and improving the internationally recognized Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) program (www.sfiprogram.org). Across North America, more than 180 million acres/73 million hectares are certified to the SFI forest management standard, making it the largest single forest standard in the world. SFI chain-of-custody certification tells buyers the percentage of fiber from certified forests, certified sourcing and/or post-consumer recycled content. The SFI program's unique fiber sourcing requirements promote responsible forest management on all suppliers' lands. SFI Inc. is governed by a three-chamber board of directors representing environmental, social and economic sectors equally.

SOURCE Sustainable Forestry Initiative