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Program teaches students about the outdoors

Foscue Park in Demopolis has always been a place for people to go and enjoy the great outdoors.

But this week, through the Forestry Awareness Program (FAWN), it was also a place for local sixth grade students to learn about the outdoors.

For the last three days students from public and private schools in Marengo County headed to the park to learn about several categories vital to the Black Belt.

Adale Anderson, who helped organize the program, said their goal was to round up knowledgeable people in each category to provide a positive experience for the students. Hopefully, she said, they stirred interest during the program and beyond.

“We have forestry professionals at each station,” Anderson said. “We really appreciate everyone that takes time out of their schedule to come help with this. We hope the program gives our youth a better understanding of forestry and encourages them to pursue a career in that field.”

The different stations included boating safety, hosted by the U.S. Corp. of Engineers, timber management, hosted by Georgia Pacific Corp., controlled burning, held by Gulf States Forestry, Alabama Wildlife, Department of Game and Fish, tree identification, held by the Alabama Forestry Commission, soils, held by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, project learning tree, held by Georgia-Pacific Corp. and timber products, held by Linden Lumber Co., Rock-Ten and Georgia Pacific.

Duane Andrews, of the Natural Resources Conservation Service taught students about soils. The program, Andrews said, was a positive experience for everyone.

“We have a lot of different stations and a lot of different topics we are talking about,” Andrews said. “It has been great. The kids have been a lot of fun.”

Each student and trail guide that participated in the program received a free t-shirt. The t-shirts were possible from a program held by the Forests Forever Foundation, which donates $1 to the program for every car tag purchased.

The program, which concluded Thursday, was another success Anderson said thanks to the help of everyone who chipped in.