Russel M Smith Scholarship


             The Forest County Conservation District & Planning Department has placed a high priority on conservation education.  Through a variety of programs and annual activities the District continues to promote conservation, that is, “the wise use of natural resources.” 

             Conservation recognizes that human beings need raw materials found in the environment and that human beings need to use those raw materials in a wise manner to assure that waste and negligence do not occur.  For over a decade, the efforts of the FCCD&P have focused on a proper approach to the natural world found in Forest County.  That approach includes the needs of human beings as well as the needs of nature. 

             In keeping with that philosophy, the Conservation District & Planning Department in 2006 created a scholarship.  The Russell M. Smith Scholarship is aimed at students who desire to work in the conservation fields of study.  Mr. Smith was a charter member of the County Planning Commission as well as the Penn State Extension agent for 39 years.  His work in Forest County included many education efforts and conservation related activities.  His civic activity should be an inspiration to every citizen as well as an example to follow.  The members of the Board of the Forest County Conservation District & Planning Department believe that honoring the memory of Mr. Smith by way of a Scholarship is most appropriate.

         On April 25, 2024, The Forest County Conservation District & Planning Department awarded one $3,000.00 scholarship.  It was awarded to Bryce Byers, a 2020 Graduate from North Clarion High School.  The Scholarship is awarded to students from Forest County committed to furthering their education in a conservation field. 

             The Scholarship was established to honor Russell M. Smith for his contribution to Forest County.  Mr. Smith, well known because of his service to the Cooperative Extension program and the 4-H program, also served as a charter member of the Forest County Planning Commission beginning in 1966.  He served as the only Secretary-Treasurer for the Commission until he resigned in 1983.  His community service stands out as an example to all of us.  The goal of conserving natural resources was his passion and so the Board decided that any Forest County student intending to pursue fields of study including Forestry & Wildlife management, Forestry Science, Environmental Planning and Management, Surveying, Agronomy/Agriculture, Forest & Earth Sciences, Wood Industry Services, or Teaching in a related field deserved aid by way of the scholarship. 

          Bryce Byers, son of Erick & Rhonda Byers, will receive $3,000 toward tuition at Pennsylvania State University, where he is studying Environmental Engineering.  Bryce will be graduating in December of 2024.  This is the fourth scholarship that Bryce has received from the Forest County Conservation District & Planning Department.

          The Forest County Conservation District & Planning Board congratulates Bryce Byers and wishes him the best success in his schooling and future career.




Russell M Smith Scholarship Application