Forests, Ocean, Climate and Us

FOCUS is a nationwide campaign in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Wyland Foundation, which uses the beauty of art and the wonder of science to make kids aware of the shared relationship between the health of each ecosystem and the health of the planet. The health and sustainability of our planet depends on a deep understanding of nature’s processes and an appreciation for the planet’s natural resources and beauties. The FOCUS program combines classroom, community, and art activities to encourage kids to explore their connection to the environment in creative and conscientious ways. The organizations that have partnered together to create these programs exemplify the cooperative effort needed to engender earth-friendly actions and attitudes that redeem our connection to the earth and to each other.

The FOCUS program will feature mural painting events in communities across the nation. Each painting event encourages kids to bring their individual creative sensibilities and unique experiences to a group collaboration highlighting environmental themes and issues. The program will also include a web portal where community and school groups can share their experiences through field blogs, photos, and videos. Lesson plans and research materials available from the U.S. Forest Service, NOAA, and the Wyland Foundation will be accessible through the web portal, along with art instruction videos and carbon and water footprint calculators.

In June 2008 the United States Forest Service (USFS), NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, marine life artist Wyland and the Wyland Foundation joined kids from the Washington, DC area to celebrate National Get Outdoors Day and World Ocean Day, as well as the launch of an exciting new environmental art and education campaign. Young artists painted a series of ten canvas murals representing watersheds, from the forest to the sea, and issues of climate change at the new People's Garden at the Department of Agriculture Building in the National Mall. Wyland painted a separate canvas mural featuring Smokey the Bear - ready for the beach in his swim trunks and carrying his mask and snorkel.

FOCUS on Facebook: Visit and “Like” our FOCUS Facebook page where FOCUS organizations and participating classrooms can communicate with each other to share program experiences, discuss environmental topics, examine watershed issues, collaborate on solutions, and post photos, videos and links. This page will also serve as a communication center for program updates, events, contest entry submissions, etc. We look forward to seeing you on our page.

Year of the Forest Poster

Celebrate the Year of the Forest by adding your own artistic inspiration to the forest. Join in the collaboration with Wyland and Gerome and download the poster to add your creative touch.

Click the image to download the PDF.

Click on the images above to zoom in.

Partners in Conservation


"I wish to express my appreciation to the Wyland Foundation for partnering with the U.S. Forest Service to bridge the worlds of art and science to demonstrate connections between healthy forests, clean water and thriving communities especially through our collaborative FOCUS 'Forest, Ocean, Climate and Us' program.  Thank you for your on-going efforts in conservation and your tireless support in connecting a new generation to the natural world around us."


- Thomas L. Tidwell,

Chief of the United States Forest Service



"The USDA and the Forest Service value our new partnership with the Wyland Foundation and NOAA through the FOCUS campaign, which uses art and science to teach young people about our forests and oceans and how these two irreplaceable resources hold the key to the future of our water supplies, climate, and global health."

- USDA Secretary Thomas J. Vilsack