Washington, D.C. and Ottawa, ON—The Sustainable Forestry Initiative,® (SFI) announced five new SFI Community Grants today to support projects that make a meaningful impact in communities across the U.S. and Canada and that support SFI’s mission of advancing sustainability through forest-focused collaboration.
“SFI’s committed to providing better choices for people and the planet, which means supporting communities,” said Kathy Abusow, President and CEO of SFI. “This year’s community grant recipients are working to develop forest literacy, strengthen urban forest management, support green job pathways, and build a diverse and resilient workforce—all while leveraging the connections and expertise of our SFI Implementation Committees and SFI-certified organizations.”
The new grants will create experiences that invite community members across the United States and Canada to explore and connect with forests through interactive outdoor exhibits and in‑person forest tours. Several of these grants will also feature online tools such as apps and websites to provide a range of innovative community connections.
Grant #1: Piloting SFI’s Urban and Community Forest Sustainability Standard
Grant recipient: Clemson University’s College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences (South Carolina)
Clemson is a leader in the sustainable management of university-owned forests (including the 17,000-acre (6,880-hectare) Clemson Experimental Forest), having maintained certification to the SFI Forest Management Standard since 2013. Now, Clemson is working to obtain certification to the new SFI Urban and Community Forest Standard for the 1,400 acres (560 hectares) of urban forest on its campus and is publicly documenting its efforts to achieve certification.
Learn more about SFI’s “Piloting SFI’s SFI Urban and Community Forest Sustainability Standard” grant
Grant #2: Showcasing Green Architecture Made from Sustainably Managed Arkansas Forests
Grant recipient: Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (Arkansas)
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art will create an interactive “Architecture at Home” exhibit, made of SFI-certified wood, that provides a setting for contemplation, community outreach, and experiential learning. The exhibit seeks to inspire greater awareness of where building materials are sourced from and the future of sustainable experimental design. The pavilion and exhibit space will provide an innovative setting for community events, such as Project Learning Tree (PLT) programs, which advance forest literacy, promote green jobs, and increase awareness of the many benefits of forests.
Learn more about SFI’s “Showcasing Green Architecture Made from Sustainably Managed Arkansas Forests” grant
Grant #3: Decoding the Differences Between Certifications and Sustainability Labels
Grant recipient: Earth Rangers (Ontario)
Earth Rangers will create a new activity called “Certified Green” on its app through which children ages 6-12 (and their families) will be able to learn about sustainable forest management. The activity will be free and available online in both English and French. It will detail the different types of eco certifications available and help grow awareness of the many benefits of forests and the importance of consumer actions. A printable guide for children to take while shopping is also included.
Learn more about SFI’s “Decoding the Differences Between Certifications and Sustainability Labels” grant
Grant #4: An Immersive Introduction to Green Jobs Along an Accessible Forest Trail
Grant recipient: Forest Exploration Center (Wisconsin)
The Forest Exploration Center will create a unique series of 12 self-guided and 8 hands-on career exhibits that will highlight how to manage and monitor forest health. Visitors will explore a forest trail use their smart phones to access QR codes that will provide information about green careers, with a self-guided multimedia experience about individuals who work in these careers. The one-mile loop of trail will be designed and built to meet Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility guidelines for wheelchair, stroller, and foot traffic, and will provide meaningful recreation for all and support self-exploration and student discovery.
Learn more about SFI’s “An Immersive Introduction to Green Jobs Along an Accessible Forest Trail” grant
Grant #5: Meaningful Forest Experiences and Training for Educators and Community Leaders
Grant recipient: Pacific Education Institute (Washington)
The Pacific Education Institute will design and deliver a two-day forestry professional learning experience for formal K-12 educators and community leaders. The learning experience will include a forest field tour highlighting forest management and green jobs and a workshop exploring Pacific Education Institute and Project Learning Tree resources. Participants will have the opportunity to chat with community partners and will learn new methods for integrating locally relevant forest literacy education into their teaching.
Learn more about SFI’s “Meaningful Forest Experiences and Training for Educators and Community Leaders” grant
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI) advances sustainability through forest-focused collaborations. We are an independent, nonprofit organization that leverages four interconnected pillars of work: standards, conservation, community, and education. SFI works with the forest sector, conservation groups, academics, researchers, brand owners, resource professionals, landowners, educators, local communities, Indigenous Peoples, and governments. Collaborating with our network, we leverage SFI-certified forests and products as powerful tools to help solve sustainability challenges such as climate action, conservation of biodiversity, education of future generations, and sustainable economic development.
Sustainable Forestry Initiative
About the SFI Community Grants Program
SFI Community Grants are awarded for collaborative community-based projects, activities, or events that support SFI’s efforts to connect communities to forests. Projects provide educators with tools to showcase green career pathways for students, incorporate Indigenous knowledge into forest management planning and education curriculum, and engage youth in outdoor education and conservation projects. SFI has awarded 101 Community Grants totaling more than $950,000 to foster community-building projects the 2010. Learn more: forests.org/communitygrants.