He sports a hat reminiscent of Robin Hood, his matching pants as forest green as his message. He is an official spokes-owl for the National Forest Service and his name is Woodsy. And, for the last four decades, he has probably done more to spread the word about environmentalism than even Al Gore.
US Forest Ranger Chuck Williams created Woodsy Owl in 1970 as a way to spread an environmentally friendly message to school children. Joining the elite ranks of other helpful mascots such as Smokey Bear and McGruff the Crime Dog, Woodsy was an instant hit, thanks to his easy-to-remember catchphrase: “Give a hoot, don’t pollute!”
In 1973, Woodsy was honored with his own comic book, courtesy of Golden Key Comics, which was published for three years. More importantly, Congress passed the Woodsy Owl Act in 1974 to ensure the image of the character was protected. Still, some changes were in store for Woodsy when he got a complete makeover in 2006. He lost a bit of weight, as some were concerned with whether his waistline was promoting a healthy image, and his feathers went from boring brown to a more eye-catching orange. Even his iconic slogan was replaced. now telling kids to “Lend a hand, care for the land!”
As a kid, did Woodsy make an impact on you? Did you ever attend a Woodsy Owl Day Camp? Share you memories of this fine-feathered friend in our comments section, as we tip our imaginary Robin Hood hat to that protective pal, Woodsy Owl.