Shortleaf Pine illustration with NCFS Shield Holmes Educational State Forest

Shortleaf Pine illustration with NCFS Shield Holmes Educational State Forest

Holmes ESF Self-Guided Activities

Citizen Science

HESF is currently involved with 2 exciting citizen science projects that will give visitors, of all ages, the opportunity to collect and contribute to our local scientific community.

Developed by the North Carolina Arboretum, the program is a great way for children in grades K-8 to explore the forest and help scientists learn more about our local environment. Participants can earn badges and prizes when they submit their data and observations to the exoExplore website.

Holmes Educational State Forest is now registered as an exoExplore HotSpot!

Please visit their website to sign-up and/or more information at

Current Project: Herpetology

Project runs May 31 - August 30, 2020

Look for amphibians and reptiles throughout the forest and submit findings to the ecoExplore website. HESF is home to many different animals within this group. Our rich cove, north-facing forest is a great place to start!

Upcoming Project: Entomology

Project will run September 1 – November 30, 2020

HESF is home to a great variety of insects. You can find these creatures just about anywhere from the forest floor to the tree tops. The pollinator garden will be a great place to start, even in September.

Bonus Badges

Look for bonus badges being offered while on the exoExplore website. Colors in Nature, Dragonfly and Mammalogy are just to name a few.

iNaturalist is another citizen science project that might interest you while visiting the forest. You can either download the app or visit their website to start sharing your data and observations with others in our area. This is a great way to learn more about the biodiversity in Western North Carolina.

iNaturalist website can be found at

Current Project: Holmes Educational State Forest Bioblitz!