Compiled By: Shelbi LeMeilleur
This year, the Texas A&M Forest Service celebrates a century of leadership in protecting and sustaining the state’s trees, forests and related natural resources. The first efforts of a few forest patrolmen on horseback in East Texas have grown into today’s network of protection statewide. TFS makes Texas stronger by imparting best land management practices to landowners, grants for training and equipment to fire departments, and information, tools, and resources to communities.
“History in the Making: Texas A&M Forest Service” brings to life the people, places and events that shaped the agency over the past 100 years. Walk through the exhibit’s forest setting to discover how early patrolmen detected and fought wildfires. Experience the sights and sounds of forests and fires as they did through photos, voices, and videos. Discover how the first conservation efforts evolved to today’s innovative land management techniques. Learn through interactive displays about wildfire detection and incident response at a state-of-the-art Emergency Operations Center.
Created in partnership with the TFS, the exhibit is sponsored by the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation, Texas Chapter International Society of Arboriculture, California Casualty, Texas Society of American Foresters, State Farm, VFIS of Texas, and FireWatch Texas. The exhibit will be on display at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum through November 8.
The Texas A&M Forest Service is working to promote conservation education. The programs aim to bring conservation efforts to the classroom, but there are several hands-on activities perfect for families this summer break.
Trees have many features to observe. TFS has created a worksheet to guide you and your kids through discovering the bark, branches, and height of your tree. Choose one on your Tree Trail or your backyard.
To download the Tree Time worksheet, visit http://tfsweb.tamu.edu/uploadedFiles/TFSMain/Learn_and_Explore/Conservation_Education_Resources/Tree%20Time.pdf.
Create a Tree TrailTFS has a new project celebrating trees for families, groups, or schools. TFS wants kids to get outside to learn about forests and trees and their uses, values, and benefits. Tree Trails helps you create a trail focused on trees. There is an online mapping portal to record your trail virtually. Check out all the Tree Trails around the state as well.
To create your own tree trail, you start by finding at least three trees in your neighborhood or other place you like to visit. Then, virtually mark these trees online, enter the tree’s species and measurements in the data sheet, and you have your trail.
Visit http://tfsweb.tamu.edu/treetrails/ to virtually map your own tree trail.
Tree Scavenger Hunt
Challenge yourself to see how many trees you can find. Use the Tree Search worksheet to keep track of when and where you found each one.
You can download the worksheet at http://tfsweb.tamu.edu/uploadedFiles/TFSMain/Learn_and_Explore/Conservation_Education_Resources/Texas%20Tree%20Search.pdf.
Attend Summer Camp at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum
Children ages 7 to 11 will enjoy this week-long camp that focuses on stewardship, conservation, and appreciation of all things found in the forest. Through museum discovery, crafts, and hands-on activities, the participants will not only learn about trees and forest friends, but also gain knowledge of fire prevention, products, and uses of the forest and preservation.
To register for the camp, visit http://www.bush41.org/summer-camp-2015.
Other Family Nature Activities
Looking for an activity for your family while exploring a local park or your own backyard? Project Learning Tree has developed a booklet for connecting kids to nature. Several of these fun activities are available online at https://www.plt.org/connecting-kids-to-nature-family-activities.