Founded in 2009, the Catoctin Forest Alliance (CFA) is a non-profit (501c3) organization whose mission is to “preserve and promote the health of the Catoctin Mountain forest for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations.”
CFA is the primary Friend’s Group for Catoctin Mountain Park (CMP) and is also partnered with Cunningham Falls State Park (CFSP). One of the best ways that CFA preserves the forest is through education and more specifically the education of children, the future stewards of the forest.
- The SUCCESS program brings at risk youth from the Frederick County School system to Catoctin Mountain Park (CMP) and Cunningham Falls State Park (CFSP) each week during the school year to learn how to use woods tools, perform trail maintenance, learn teamwork and leadership skills.
- Seasons 101 brings students to the parks four times a year where they adopt a tree and measure and observe the tree during the whole year, comparing it to their own growth and noting the changes with the seasons. They also learn outdoor skills such and hiking, trail work and camp cooking.
- The First Bloom program brought students from the inner city to CMP to plan, plant and document a wild flower garden in front of the Visitor’s Center (see photo on front page). The students were part of a nationwide program that included a contest for the best documentation of the experience. The group that came to CMP won first prize.
- CFA also works with adults to benefit the forest through the Artist in Residence Program. Artists from all over the US come to either CMP or CFSP for 1-2 week residencies. During their time in the parks, the artists created art inspired by the forest and donate one piece of art to CFA.
Your donations to CFA help to support education,cultural and recreational programs in the Catoctin Mountain Park and Cunningham Falls State Park.