– Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry Director Ellen
M. Shultzabarger this week visited State Correctional Institution Rockview and
met with prison officials and inmates enrolled in the facility’s Forestry Camp.
Camp provides training for a select group of inmates who manage forests on
2,500 acres at SCI Rockview. A new arboriculture course, created with the
Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and now in its second
year, provides valuable training to help inmates find employment upon their
release in the high-demand field of tree maintenance.
the first female state forester in Pennsylvania history, had the opportunity to
watch inmates prune trees at Rockview’s 60-acre nursery, which grows ornamental
trees and shrubs.
“We are proud
of the work the Forestry Camp staff and teams do to manage our extensive forest
network,” said SCI Rockview Superintendent Mark Garman. “The collaboration with
DCNR has expanded the opportunities for camp participants to advance their knowledge
and learn additional skills to help them find good jobs following their
detail manages prison forestland for timber and firewood production, maintains
roads and trails, and conducts tree pruning, tree planting, and hazard tree
removal for area communities. The Forestry Camp also has a wildfire crew
available to fight forest fires on institution property and assist the state
Bureau of Forestry as needed.
has successfully helped connect reentrants for employment in the tree-care
industry, and DCNR is committed to recruiting more people into outdoor
professions,” said Shultzabarger. “We are excited to expand this intra-agency
Correctional Conservation Collaboration into other realms of conservation,
including forestry, riparian (stream) buffers, and pesticide application, as
well as to other DOC institutions.”
arboriculture training program includes sessions on tree climbing and tree
safety, tree identification and pruning. The curriculum is based on the
International Society of Arboriculture’s (ISA) Arborist Certification Study
Guidebook. The ISA, in support of this program, donated 20 guidebooks, which
typically cost $125 each. Completion of the course prepares inmates for the
Arborist Certification exam.
the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Pennsylvania companies employ among the largest
number of people in the tree maintenance field in the nation.
Amy Worden, DOC, 717-728-4026, or email@example.com
Terry Brady, DCNR, 717-772-9101, firstname.lastname@example.org