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Friends of Schenck Forest


The Friends of Schenck Forest is an advocacy group with the goal of supporting the NC State College of Natural Resources’ mission to preserve and promote Schenck Forest as an educational and public resource. We aim to increase public awareness, organize volunteers, and raise funds to maintain and enhance the forest and facilities.

The forest and its management continues to provide tremendous environmental benefits that better the lives of our community and neighbors — from water quality, air quality, soil quality and erosion control to carbon storage, aesthetic improvement and more. Together, we ensure that Schenck Forest remains a thriving recreation site for the local community and a robust learning site for students within the college.

Why Give

By donating to the Friends of Schenck Forest, you’re investing in the preservation, enhancement and maintenance of the forest’s natural resources, facilities and trails. 

Your support and advocacy of working forests is essential to ensuring the continued management of a safe, healthy and welcoming forestland for present and future generations.

If you would like to donate to Friends of Schenck Forest, please don’t hesitate to contact us about certain projects you’d be interested in funding. Your help is greatly appreciated. You can stay in the know about updates by following Friends of Schenck Forest on Facebook.

Who We Are

John Sanders
John Sanders is a manager with the Forest Assets Team at NC State’s College of Natural Resources. He has been a vital member of the team for six years. However, John’s career in forest management began 25 years ago at the college’s largest forest, Hofmann Forest. Throughout his career with the team, John has worn many hats that include mechanic, equipment operator, burn boss, GIS manager, reforestation supervisor, water management supervisor and now manager. Thanks to the tutelage of seasoned foresters, NC State faculty and other industry professionals, John has gained a wide variety of forestry skills and knowledge that he uses to improve the sustainability of the college’s forests, facilitate research and demonstration opportunities, and increase financial benefits to the college and its students. He currently manages the inventory, harvesting and silviculture, burning and recreational operations on all of the college’s forests, as well as the GIS and student work crews.  Although his office is at Hofmann Forest, he frequents the Piedmont to ensure operations on all forests run smoothly.

Garrett Sumner

Garrett Sumner is a manager with the Forest Assets Team at NC State’s College of Natural Resources. He has been a vital member of the team since 2022. Garrett is an NC State University Alumni. He began his career in forest management as a procurement forester, purchasing hardwood saw timber for a North Carolina-based hardwood sawmill. Garrett is a Registered Forester, licensed pesticide applicator, North Carolina Forest Service Certified Burner, and North Carolina Forestry Association Pro Logger, and he wears many hats in his role as a forest manager. Garrett manages the harvesting, silviculture, prescribed fire, recreational, and research operations on the College’s forests in the Piedmont of North Carolina.

Laxmi Parajuli
Laxmi T. Parajuli joined NC State’s College of Natural Resources in 2020. She works as a program associate for the Forest Assets Team. The Forest Assets Team manages all forests associated with the college. She has a Masters in Urban Forestry and loves hiking and nature walking. Schenck Forest served as her office and meeting space throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.