Linden students go outdoors

Published 10:19 am Tuesday, December 7, 2010

By Susan Thompson

For the Gazette

Fifth graders at Linden Elementary had an opportunity to participate in the “Classroom in the Forest” program on Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010.

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After a classroom presentation by Susan Thompson, 4-H Regional Extension Agent, John Ollison, Forestry REA, and Terry Davis, local landowner, the students loaded onto a bus to be transported to the Davis’ land on Hwy 43 near Calvary.

Mrs. Kathryn Friday, CEC, and Beth Wideman, 4-H Agent Assistant, helped present the program, which teaches fifth grade students the value of our forests and the responsibility of private landowners to manage their forests properly.

The students learned that our trees provide environmental benefits such as clean air and water, forest products that we use every day, jobs for people, and recreational opportunities such as hunting, hiking, and fishing.

Mr. Brooks Davis and his wife, Terry, treated the children and their teachers, Mrs. Linda Hudson and Mrs. Wynell Jones, to a hayride around the property pointing out points of interest. The children got to participate in several activities and games such as “Oh, Deer,” a game which teaches youth that deer need food, water, and shelter in order to survive, “Flag a Tree” which teaches which trees to cut when thinning timber, “Everything Needs Space,” which teaches that sometimes forests need to be thinned in order to give space for dominate trees to have space to grow, and “Nobody Lives Here, Why does it Matter?” which helps youth realize that the forest is home to many species of animals and insects. The highlight of this activity was the finding of a deer skull by one group.

Another valuable lesson was to always have permission before going on any privately owned land and to leave the property in as good or better condition than it was when they visited. Everyone enjoyed a picnic lunch overlooking the beautiful lake on the Davis property, and the group headed back to school with the knowledge of the importance of our forests and how to be better stewards of the land.