One of the beautiful things about Oregon is the diverse number of habitats and ecosystems throughout the state. This week’s Lunch Bite Highlight focuses on Oregon’s state tree, the Douglas Fir! The Douglas Fir is commonly used as Christmas trees, and also provides many helpful resources for surrounding species. Learning about trees is an important lesson for Forest Explorers during their adventures with The Environmental Center.
What are Forest Explorers?
Each year, we facilitate a day camp for students where we hike up hills, explore creeks, and play games focused on environmental topics such as plants, animals, water, weather, and more.
Learning about trees is one of our favorite topics at Skyliner Lodge. The surrounding area is the home to several different types of trees such as Ponderosa and Lodgepole Pines. One of our special places to take explorers is up to Big Mama P., a huge Ponderosa Pine located along Skyliner Trail. As her name reveals, Big Mama P. looms over our explorers as they observe different qualities of the tree.
The ‘P’ in the name reveals quite a few characteristics which helps the young learners recognize the importance of trees. It is a Ponderosa Pine, has puzzle piece bark, which protects it from any potential damage. They also prune their own branches as a fire adaptation. Our Forest Explorers are later able to recognize Ponderosas all around them!
This Ponderosa Pine is just one way our students gather a deeper understanding of why trees are important. It is just one type of tree that is common in Central Oregon, and this website lists more species plus individual characteristics to help you identify trees. Arbor 1 also has a list of places in Central Oregon to take children to help them learn more about trees that live around us.
So why are trees important?
Well, they provide homes for animals, nourishment for species around them, oxygen for us to breathe, materials for our homes, and much more. Helping children recognize these amazing species can plant an interest in their minds to expand their love of the environment!
For more Lunch Bite activities in both English and Spanish, click here.