(extracted with adaptations from jfwa.ca)

With its rich forestry history, Newfoundland and Labrador has had a Junior Forest Wardens program for decades.  In the 1940s, there were more than 7000 wardens.  That number has wavered over the years, and at present there are two Clubs active in the St. John’s area.

The seeds of Junior Forest Wardens were planted in the 1920s when a group of young boys reported a forest fire to a Forest Ranger in British Columbia. Their story was published in Forests and Outdoors magazine, the official publication of the Canadian Forestry Association.  Youth from across British Columbia contacted the author wondering how they could help their local rangers.  In response to the inquiries along with the mounting forest fire toll, the local manager from the Canadian Forestry Association, Charles Wilkinson, decided to teach youth about forest protection and established the warden program. By 1930, 300 boys in the province were involved in the warden program.

The JFW movement continued to grow and in 1931 a tree was planted in Stanley Park, Vancouver, with soil collected by Wardens from every part of British Columbia. That tree stands today as a living and growing symbol of the JFW movement. The Girl Forest Guards were organized as an associate group of the Junior Forest Wardens in 1944 in answer to the requests of the sisters of Junior Forest Wardens. In 1974 the two groups were merged under the Junior Forest Warden banner.

 

In 1985, the program was updated to provide wardens with additional opportunities in the areas of Forestry, Ecology, Outdoor Skills and Leadership.   There are currently Clubs active in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador.

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