(Autaugaville, AL) The 10th annual Friends of the Forest drew more than 300 area Autauga County students into one of the Alabama TREASURE Forest areas for a unique learning experience on May 4 – 5, 2016.
Friends of the Forest is an educational program designed to teach the importance of private forest land and private forest landowners regarding multiple use management of our forests’ natural resources.
Autauga County Extension Coordinator Darrue Sharpe said this year’s program was a success. “We were able to visit classrooms and tell the students about the natural resources all around them, and after our in-school visits, the forest became a classroom as hundreds of participating school children came into to an actual TREASURED Forest to learn”, Sharpe stated.
Organizer, Brigetta Giles, Chair of the Autauga Forestry & Wildlife Stewardship Council, said the event taught a valuable lesson. Giles stated, “This program focuses on teaching our children that forests are renewable , natural resources that provide many important things in our lives including jobs, clean air, shelter, and much-much more.”
Giles adds “This project educates fifth graders on the importance of multiple use management and why we are to be responsible for the well-being of our natural resources.”
(Above) Prior to the outdoor classroom event, volunteers visited participating schools to talk with youth about promoting healthy and productive rural and urban forests, clean water, and abundant wildlife.
Students were led to different outdoor classrooms which offered demonstrations and talks on such topics as: water quality of rivers and streams, tree identification, timber growth and usage, understanding why animals and trees need space, and showing appreciation and respect for privately owned forests. The event was held on the property of Mr. And Mrs. Jimmy Hughes- generous supporters of this annual event.
The Autauga Forestry & Wildlife Stewardship Council, of which the Autauga County Extension Office is a proud member, holds this event annually. Friends of the Forest is open and free to public, private, and home schooled children in Autauga County.
For more information about plans for the 2017 Friends of the Forest, please contact the Autauga County Extension Office at 334-361-7273.