Since 2001, ONREF has been making grants to help sustain forestry and natural resource education programs in Oregon high schools.
Establishing the Oregon Natural Resource Education Fund
In the late 1990’s, Forestry High School programs were in sharp decline. A group of professional Foresters and Vocational Educators recognized the value of these programs and initiated ONREF (Oregon Natural Resource Education Foundation)– with the focused objective to Promote and Support Oregon High School Forestry and Natural Resource Programs and their Instructors/teachers.
ONREF Grant Funds support public or private high schools in Oregon that commit to provide educational opportunities in the field of Forestry. These Forestry Programs of Study focus on instruction that will integrate the subject areas of wood products, silviculture, harvesting, fisheries, wildlife, water, soils, recreation, and management of other forest-related natural resources of Oregon and provide students with related career and leadership development.
Funding is available for natural resource related tools, equipment, technology and other educational resources. Grant recommendations are made to the OCF board of directors by the ONREF Advisory Committee, individuals nominated by the ONREF Association
In addition to the main fund, which is available statewide, ONREF has four Subfunds that each have specific funding objectives and local representation on the advisory committee. Current Subfunds include:
Terry Selby Subfund: Available to qualified programs in Benton County, Oregon
Pleasant Hill Subfund: Currently available statewide; preference given to schools in Lane and Linn counties
The Oregon Society of American Foresters (OSAF) Subfund: Available statewide to qualified programs with the added commitment to promote post-secondary education in forest-based natural resources education
The Oregon Small Woodlands Association (OSWA) Subfund: Established in 2020 and available statewide to Oregon public or private high schools that commit to provide educationalopportunities in the field of forestry, which will integrate wood products, silviculture, fisheries, wildlife, water, soils, recreation, and the management of other forest-related natural resources of Oregon, and that commit to promote post-secondary education in forest-based natural resources education.