Students get forestry lessons

Published 8:04 am Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fifth grade students from Sweet Water High School had an opportunity to learn some valuable forestry and environmental stewardship lessons while visiting Roy Jordan’s Treasure Forest in Nanafalia, AL., on

Wednesday, Nov. 1. The Marengo County Forestry Commission, the Marengo County Extension System, and the Alabama Treasure Forest Association teamed up to bring the “Classroom in the Forest, Forest in

the Classroom” message to 58 youth about the importance of our forest and forest natural resources. Besides providing the oxygen that we breathe, the forests provide many other resources and products which we

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use every day and need in order to live. The program also stresses the importance of being good stewards of the land by not littering, by asking permission before going on privately owned land, and the responsibility of private land owners to be good managers of their land. Roy had a treat for the youth and their teachers by lining up Billy Carlisle and Jim Dixon from the Alabama Forestry Commission to bring a bull dozier to demonstrate how they make fire lanes in order to stop forest fires. After a classroom presentation in the two home room classes consisting of Mr. Jordan, Mrs. Kathryn Friday, Marengo County CEC, and Mrs. Susan

Thompson, 4-H REA, Mrs. Beth Wideman, 4-H Agent Assistant, John Ollison, Forestry REA, and Mr. Joe Friday, Volunteer, the youth participated in a Forest Jeopardy game. The team presentation explained the program to the students and gave many examples of the natural resources we need and use from the forests, how some people depend on the forests for their career or jobs, and that we all have a responsibility to be good stewards of the land.  Students learned about respecting our land by not littering and by picking up trash when other thoughtless people litter.

Taking the classroom to the forest for the field day gave an opportunity to teach some more valuable lessons such as when and why to cut trees, how to determine which trees to cut and why, the importance of thinning trees and control burning, and what deer and wildlife need in order to survive and thrive.  They played a game called, “Oh, Deer,” which taught them that if deer do not have sufficient food, water, shelter, and space, they will either die or move to another location.

Everyone enjoyed a picnic lunch on the porch of the old home site where Jordan’s great grandfather lived.  The group picture was taken in front of an Ebenezer made of large rocks which were erected to give thanks to God for the land and what it has meant and continues to mean for the Jordan family.

Kathryn Friday is the Marengo County Extension Coordinator.