CORVALLIS, Ore. - The Oregon 4-H program is expanding its 4-H natural resources education opportunities for Latino youth, thanks to a $90,000 grant from the Weyerhaeuser Company Foundation.

The grant was awarded to the Oregon 4-H Foundation and will be used to support 4-H programs that introduce Latino youth to the field of natural resource/forest products and related careers.

The new programs will be targeted to high school and middle school youth in Benton, Clackamas, Marion, and Polk counties, said Beverly Hobbs, Oregon State University Extension 4-H youth development specialist. A wide range of educational activities will be available including field trips to forest education centers and forest products production facilities, she said.

"We'll also organize educational campouts to bring youth into forest environments where they will work together in stream studies, plant and tree identification projects and exploration of wildlife habitats," Hobbs added.

Along with hands-on activities, open discussion forums are planned where youth can talk to professional foresters about their job experiences and the various careers available in natural resource/forest products management.

"Our goal with these programs is to help youth develop an understanding and appreciation of our natural resources and the important roles professionals play in managing them," Hobbs said.

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Beverly Hobbs,