Learn about Education and Recreation

The Virginia Department of Forestry creates and uses a variety of conservation education resources for both children and adults. Field staff deliver programming across the Commonwealth to improve knowledge of forest ecosystems, forest resources, and forestry practices. Virginia’s multi-use State Forest system provides opportunities for education, recreation, historical interpretation, and demonstration of forestry practices. All State Forests are sustainably managed to provide the greatest benefits to Virginians.

Benefits of Trees

Forests are well known for providing a renewable source of wood products. Some products come from the trees themselves, while others, like mushrooms or medicinal herbs, come from the forested environment. In addition to lumber, paper, and a host of other products, forests provide benefits called “ecosystem services”, including filtering air, preventing soil erosion, outdoor recreation, and more.

Learn more about the benefits of trees.

Tree Identification

There are many reasons to learn the identity of the trees around us. The trees growing on a site can tell us a lot about the soil, climate, and other environmental conditions there. Certain trees make good lumber, paper, medicines, food, or other products we need. Some animals rely on particular trees for food or shelter. Other plants in a forest may grow best in the shade of certain types of trees. And of course, some of us just like to increase our knowledge of the natural world!

Learn more about the tree identification.

Activities for Kids and Families

Forestry and nature present many opportunities for outdoor fun and activities. Whether hiking, biking, or just observing nature, getting outside in nature is proven to benefit human health and wellbeing. Explore nature on your own or try some our activity ideas.

Learn more about the activities for kids and families.

State Forests Differ from State Parks and Other State Lands

Virginia’s state forests, State parks, wildlife management areas, and natural area preserves are state lands with distinct purposes. These state-owned and managed lands also differ from federally-owned national forests and national parks. It may be helpful to review these differences before visiting one of these areas.

Learn more about how the state forests differ from state parks and other state lands.

Fall Foliage in Virginia

Virginia is diverse in landscape, from the highest mountains to the eastern shore. The diversity in landscape and elevation presents a prolonged fall foliage season here in Virginia, starting earlier in the higher elevations moving east toward coastal Virginia, which finishes the season each year.

Learn more about fall foliage in Virginia.