Attending the Urban and Community Forestry Bootcamp

In July, I was able to attend Region 5’s Urban and Community Forest (UCF) Bootcamp, a training session that spanned 3 days to learn everything there is to about the program. Located at the Region 5 Vallejo Office and designed for people working within UCF, I was very lucky that my mentor was able to get me on the list to attend the boot camp because I am neither in Region 5 nor UCF. I am a Forest Legacy Resource Assistant within Region 3, but I work remotely in California so my mentor saw this as a great opportunity to attend as there is some information that overlaps with my program. Thank you again to my mentor Kathleen Moore!

Through this boot camp, I learned a lot about how the UCF program functions within the Forest Service and what the State and Private branch does within the agency. What I took away from these sessions was how complicated grant paperwork can be and what is allowed under grants because the rules are very ambiguous and it is up to the program managers and specialists to read and interpret the law that established the whole program. It sounds overwhelming but there are many resources that former program managers have established in addition to the team of people that we can lean on for support. What I felt being in that space was that everyone is a team and is willing to give a helping hand to whoever asks.

Another thing I took away from this training session is the new networks I was able to make. I was able to meet other resource assistants from other states and other Forest Service employees. It was a great way to be able to talk to other RAs in person and ask about what they’re doing within their position. I was also able to talk to other employees about how they got to their position and what advice they have for someone like me who’s just starting out in their career. Overall, it was a breath of fresh air to be able to talk in person after working remotely for most of my time and I feel like I made very meaningful connections. I am thankful for this opportunity and will take with me the knowledge and connections from this experience.

Below is a picture of the attendees of the UCF boot camp.

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