On Friday, May 20 th , students from Windham-Ashland- Jewett (WAJ) Science Club set out into the Siuslaw Model Forest to learn about tree identification. Students received a tree ID field guide and a hand lens to help them explore the trees of the forest. Deb Valerio, a science teacher from WAJ, and Andrew Randazzo, an Environmental Educator from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia and Greene Counties, wanted to instill a sense of wonder and excitement around the trees of our local forests. By hosting a guided tree walk that taught students the basics of tree identification, they did just that. The members of the WAJ science club got the opportunity to use their new dichotomous key to identify randomly selected trees in the model forest. Students learned to recognize that not only do leaves play a role in tree ID but also the nuts on the forest floor, the bark of the tree, and the arrangement of the tree’s branches. At the end of the day the club got to enjoy the sunshine, learn about the importance of understanding our local trees, and even play a forest based scavenger hunt. After all that who wouldn’t be excited about forests?
The WAJ Science Club would not be possible without the generous financial support of The Windham Foundation.