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Would you like your child to be a junior forester?

Lexington County, SC (06/07/2021) - As Lexington County grows, people move here from other places for many reasons. Some come for the school, the recreation, or for other quality of life factors. In some portions of the county, you can still buy a fairly large tract of rural land that provides folks their own piece of nature with some peace and quite too.


Many who've lived here for years grew up playing in the forest of the county and that lifestyle can still be appealing for their children and grandchildren today. Now, the SC State Forestry Commission is offering children an opportunity to learn more about our forest and how important it is to us. This summer, you can take the kids on weekdays Harbison State Forest to participate in the Forestry Commission’s new Junior Forester program.

Families with children ages 5-10 can visit the state forest’s Environmental Education Center to check out a backpack loaded with nature investigation supplies, and they’ll also receive an age-appropriate activity book containing hands-on learning experiences that the children will complete while hiking in the forest. Parents can check out backpack materials and activity books for either grades K-2 or for grades 3-5.

“I’m so excited to unveil this program for our families who visit the forest. With the school year ending, this is a great way to get kids outside while continuing their learning over the summer,” said Assistant Environmental Education Coordinator Beth Foley. “The self-guided program is designed for families to learn together as they explore the forest.”


Armed with a clipboard, magnifying lens, binoculars and other tools, children embark on fun activities like a “Cool Critters” scavenger hunt,” a seed-collecting mission, a tree ring study and wildlife tracking adventure, among others.

Once the activity guide has been completed, the children bring it back to the Ed Center where they will receive a signed Junior Forester certificate, a wooden Junior Forester badge and a Smokey Bear “schwag bag.”


The Junior Forester program is free of charge and available from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Walk-ins are welcome, but reservations are encouraged. Please call Beth Foley at (803) 896-8890 to make a reservation or to ask questions about the program.


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