Forest Immersion XP (FIXP)

2016 | The Holden Arboretum

Through its new pilot program, Forest Immersion XP camp, The Holden Arboretum seeks to increase awareness and interest in the areas of community forestry and arboriculture so as to have a positive impact on this industry and create possible career paths for students who may not hear about these opportunities otherwise. This two-day camp for middle and high school students will help them better understand the benefits and importance of trees in their community and will also enlighten them to the plethora of related professional opportunities available.

Slated for spring 2017, day one of camp will include a full immersion in the forest landscape, with an extensive educational hike through the forests and collections of Holden, including spending time on Holden’s newest forest-immersion structures – the Murch Canopy Walk & Kalberer Family Emergent Tower and an overnight stay at a camp adjacent to Holden. On day two, students will explore, in-depth and hands-on, various professional opportunities, as they interact with ground workers, tree climbers, plant health care professionals and urban foresters.

With support from TREE Fund, Holden Forests & Gardens provided ten students from Northeast Ohio with an intensive, two-day exploration of arboriculture and community forestry careers. Participants ranged in age from 15 to 18 and had an exciting experience exploring The Holden Arboretum, including the Murch Canopy Walk and 120-foot-tall Kalberer Emergent Tower. Participants benefited from demonstrations from working professionals, hands-on activities including basic climbing and tree care diagnostic activities, as well as group discussion and fun camp activities. Participants left the camp with a deeper understanding of the variety of career paths in arboriculture and community forestry and resources about education pathways to these career options. With positive feedback from program participants and their parents, Holden Forests & Gardens hopes to be able to continue this project and grow participation.