Klamath County, Ore. – A remote section of forest has served as a classroom for sixth graders in Klamath County this week.
Dan Leavell of the OSU Extension office explains the forestry tours were first held in 1963. “They’ve been doing it for 56 years in this county – one of the few counties in the state that are still operating this tour.”
About 750 students are taking part this year.
Students learn how to stay safe, and how to prepare for a trip in the woods.
“Make sure you have everything.” Explains student Cameron Metler. “And that everything works.”
Other learning stations focus on wildlife, and tree identification.
“I learned about soils, like what they’re made of, and what’s in the soil.” Notes Audrey Dugan of Keno Elementary. “So there’s some clay in it, and some sand.”
“I really like walking through the woods, so I think it’s really fun to do this.” Keno Elementary student Cayden Schweizer adds. “And learning about the trees and soils is fun, too.”
Ron Loveness of the Winema Hoo Hoo Club began teaching kids about forest products 53 years ago.
He uses trees with blue and pink ribbons to help demonstrate forest growth.
“That when those kids are my age, that tree with the pink ribbon will be as big as the one with the blue ribbon.” Loveness explains. “That helps them understand things grow.”
The presenters say they get as much out of it as the kids.
“To see them appreciate this environment is very satisfying.” Leavell says.
And, the students have something exciting to share with their parents.
Metler knows what he’ll be sharing at the dinner table. “That I was kind of on TV, I guess.”
Some of the students taking part in this week’s forestry tour are grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren of those who took the tour in the 1960’s.