Outreach and Education Continued
The official Oklahoma Forestry Services logo is to be used on all official electronic and print publications, reports, correspondence, business cards, news releases, advertising, displays, invitations and awards.
Oklahoma Forestry Services Logo – Color
Oklahoma Forestry Service Logo – Black/White
Education Outreach and Project Learning Tree
Part of Oklahoma Forestry Service’s mission is to educate Oklahomans of all ages about our diverse forestry resources and the issues, challenges and opportunities facing these resources today.
Whether working with neighborhood associations, scouts, classroom teachers, naturalists, or landowners, we want everyone to come away with an understanding and appreciation for the management, protection, and utilization of our trees and forests. Trees add value and benefits to our daily lives when the right tree is planted in the right place for the right reason.
Project Learning Tree
Project Learning Tree (PLT) is an award winning, multi-disciplinary environmental education program for educators and students in PreK-grade 12. PLT, a program of the American Forest Foundation, is one of the most widely used environmental education programs in the United States and abroad. PLT continues to set the standard for environmental education excellence.
Workshops are available for both formal and non-formal educators including teacher in service training, scout/youth leaders, pre-service teachers and naturalists.
Check out the National PLT website for more program information or contact our Education Coordinator to schedule a workshop.
Project Learning Tree (PLT) Workshops
If you’re an educator looking to integrate PLT into your curriculum, you’ve come to the right place for resources and opportunities. More than half a million educators have attended a PLT workshop since the program began in 1976. PLT’s professional development workshops train educators:
- In environmental education
- How best to use PLT curriculum materials
- How to engage with and draw upon their community in learning about and taking action to address local environmental issues
Ready to start incorporating environmental education into your curriculum? Project Learning Tree is here to help you get started. In doing so, you will join the 500,000+ educators who have implemented Project Learning Tree programs into their classrooms across the country, and the world. The first step to helping your students learn about the environment is attending a Project Learning Tree workshop.
Through Project Learning Tree workshops you can:
- Learn how to incorporate PLT activities into your current and future lesson plans and curriculum.
- Meet other professionals in your area interested or already involved in environmental education.
- Become part of a network that offers you follow-up resources and engagement opportunities.
- Learn about environmental education
Forestry Youth Camp
We are hopeful for a valiant return in summer of 2021!
Know a 13-15 year old who needs to unplug from his or her electronic devices and enjoy an adventure in the forest? Oklahoma Forestry Services’ 65th annual Oklahoma Forestry Camp offers swimming, canoeing, hiking and the opportunity to make new friends, all while learning about the environment. Camp is tentatively scheduled June 13th – June 18th, 2021 at Beavers Bend State Park. Camp fee is $250 per camper. Check out our camp video and previous camp photos for a look at a day in the life of Forestry Camp!
Camp Scholarship applications
Oklahoma Forestry Camp offers a limited number of scholarships each year. We highly encourage you to turn in your application and scholarship application early to be considered for a scholarship. New campers will have priority for scholarships. Check out our camp video!
Oklahoma’s own Tree Bear and Smokey Bear visit schools or community events focused on themes such as wood products, fire safety, resource conservation, recycling, and environmental education. An OFS forester accompanies each mascot. Contact us to make arrangements for a visit.
We are here for you! Contact Oklahoma Forestry Services Education Coordinator to schedule a Forestry Education program or event for your classroom or program!
- Smokey Bear Curriculum
- Natural Inquirer student workbook – free downloadable environmental education workbook on this website.
- Forest Fast Break Videos explain all topics of forests and forestry practices!
- Leaf Presses and Collection Hints, OSU
- Oklahoma Ecoregions Map – Format for 8.5 x 11printing (without region descriptions)
- Oklahoma Ecoregions Map – Format for 11 x 17 printing (with ecoregion descriptions)
Why Do Leaves Change Colors in the Fall?
We all enjoy the colors of autumn leaves. But to answer the question of why leaves change color in the fall, we first have to understand what leaves are and what they do.
Leaves are nature’s food factories. Plants take water from the ground through their roots. They take a gas called carbon dioxide from the air. Plants use sunlight to turn water and carbon dioxide into glucose. Glucose is a kind of sugar. Plants use glucose as food for energy and as a building block for growing. The way plants turn water and carbon dioxide into sugar is called photosynthesis. That means “putting together with light.” A chemical called chlorophyll helps make photosynthesis happen. Chlorophyll is what gives plants their green color.
As summer ends and autumn comes, the days get shorter and shorter. This is how the trees “know” to begin getting ready for winter. During winter, there is not enough light or water for photosynthesis. The trees will rest, and live off the food they stored during the summer. They begin to shut down their food-making factories. The green chlorophyll disappears from the leaves. As the bright green fades away, we begin to see yellow and orange colors. Small amounts of these colors have been in the leaves all along. We just can’t see them in the summer, because they are covered up by the green chlorophyll.
The bright reds and purple we see in leaves are made mostly in the fall. In some trees, like maples, glucose is trapped in the leaves after photosynthesis stops. Sunlight and the cool nights of autumn cause the leaves turn this glucose into a red color. The brown color of trees like oaks is made from wastes left in the leaves.
Family Activity Ideas
Forests are places where you can strengthen family bonds. These activities will help you teach children how to appreciate and understand the natural world around them. Chances are you’ll also have fun watching your child’s face light up with wonderment and curiosity. With the Nature Activities for Families from Project Learning Tree children can observe the annual change of seasons, and investigate why leaves of deciduous trees change color in the fall as well as learn how tree rings show patterns of change in a tree’s life.
Take a Child Outside Week September 24—September 30 Annually
Take a Child Outside Week is a program designed to help break down obstacles that keep children from discovering the natural world. By arming parents, teachers and other caregivers with resources on outdoor activities, our goal is to help children develop a better understanding and appreciation of the environment in which they live, and a burgeoning enthusiasm for its exploration. Take a Child Outside Week has many activities to get families active in their natural environment.
The Nature Conservancy Nature Rocks! provides families with an activity finder that filters activities by time, age, location, or weather to find simple, fun and creative ways for your kids and family to explore nature.
Request a Forestry Program – website form
Forest Heritage Center Museum is located in Beavers Bend State Park (north of Broken Bow, Oklahoma). Operated by the Forest Heritage Center Advisory Board and Oklahoma Forestry Services, the museum houses historical documents, antique forestry tools, wood art, homestead memorabilia, and a research library filled with books, periodicals, and other materials pertaining to forestry.
The museum features 14 large dioramas (painted by Harry Rossoll, the artist who created Smokey Bear) that cover Prehistoric Forests, Caddo Indians, Papermaking in the South, 1940’s Lumbering, and Forest Appreciation. Each diorama is accompanied by a taped narration. Other exhibits include the Forest Wood Art Gallery, chainsaw carvings, a 100 year old log cabin from the Kiamichi Mountains and historical woodworking tools.
In April 2003, a new exhibit was unveiled at the Forest Heritage Center honoring the thousands of wildland firefighters that put their lives on the line each year. An 8-foot bronze sculpture honors Jim Burnett, an Oklahoma Forestry Services wildland firefighter who lost his life in the line of duty, and all people who risk their lives fighting wildland fires each year.
The “People of the Forest” exhibit presents the early years of the forest industry in Oklahoma with the coming of the Dierks family, as well as the story of the Traveling Timber Towns and the accomplishments of the Civilian Conservation Corps in the area. The exhibit features restored photographs from the Center’s extensive collection and focuses on the people who helped lay the foundation for the industry in Oklahoma.
For those wanting to learn more about Oklahoma’s forests and forest industry, the staff of the Forest Heritage Center Museum can arrange educational programs or tours for any age group by appointment. There are specific programs tailored for school classes.
The Forest Heritage Center offers meeting rooms, including one that has a stage, one room that has 40 seats and a room that can seat 60 theater style. Located near park cabins, the museum is ideal for sales meetings, seminars, management retreats and workshops.
Open 365 days a year from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
No Admission Charge
Forest Heritage Center Scholarships Available
In an effort to reach out to the young men and women who are the future of forestry, the Forest Heritage Center Museum offers scholarships to college students and graduating high school seniors, as well as stipends for forestry program educators.
- Fred Dierks Educational Scholarship offers a $1500 scholarship to a college undergraduate student. The scholarship is available to all students currently enrolled as second semester freshmen or higher grade level. Students must be enrolled in a forestry program in one of Oklahoma’s institutions of higher education, with a minimum of a 3.0 on a 4.0 grading scale.
- Quintus Herron Educational Scholarship provides $500 to an Oklahoma graduation high school senior who is enrolling in a college level forestry program at an Oklahoma institution for higher learning.
- New Growth Educational Stipend of $1000 is available for both formal and informal educators who wish to implement forestry curriculum in their program. Leaders of youth organizations and teachers can take advantage of this opportunity to introduce youngsters to the endless possibilities that the forest and forestry industry provide.
Beavers Bend State Park Hiking Trails
Lace up your hiking boots, grab a water bottle and point your compass towards southeast Oklahoma! As one of the state’s most popular outdoor oases, Beavers Bend State Park, home to the Forest Heritage Center Museum, offers miles of hiking trails to whisk you away on a great outdoors adventure. Hit the trails; hike amidst the towering pines, trek through the rippling creeks and experience our state’s diverse terrain and outdoor wonders.
The trails are operated and maintained by Beavers Bend State Park. For information about the trails visit Beavers Bend State Park | TravelOK.com – Oklahoma’s Official Travel & Tourism Site
Beavers Bend Folk Festival
The 2021 Folk Festival has been cancelled due to concerns regarding Covid-19
The annual Beavers Bend Folk Festival & Craft Show brings about 17,000 visitors to southeastern Oklahoma each year, just in time for the beautiful fall colors.
Folk Festival features turn-of-the-century arts and demonstrations, Celtic and early American music, and tantalizing aromas and flavors in the outdoor food court. Visitors can enjoy one-stop holiday shopping by browsing through rooms filled with hand crafted wooden toys, arts and crafts, Oklahoma wine, and homemade quilts and aprons.
The Beavers Bend Folk Festival & Craft Show is made possible by Oklahoma Forestry Services, the Forest Heritage Center Advisory Board and staff, Oklahoma Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, the McCurtain County Tourism Authority, Oklahoma Humanities Council, Oklahoma Forestry Services and the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department.
For more info, please contact email@example.com
The work of some of the nation’s top wood artists will be on display during the annual “Master Woodworking Artist of the Year” exhibit at the Forest Heritage Center Museum in Beavers Bend State Park. The 2022 show will open on March 7th at 1:30 with a reception and remain open until May 8.
The Forest Heritage Center is the perfect setting to showcase the art of the forest, with over 50 species of trees found within a 1-mile radius of the museum’s home in Beavers Bend State Park. Many wood artists select their material from this diverse array of native woods, choosing to harvest dead standing or fallen timber or knots and burls that are otherwise unsuitable for construction, adding untold value to Oklahoma’s already booming forestry industry.
The “Master Woodworking Artist of the Year” exhibit will be open FREE to the public from March 6th – May 10th at the Forest Heritage Center Museum. Opening reception will be held on March 6th from 1:30 – 3:30 pm. Gallery hours are 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. on Sunday. For more information call 580-494-6497 or email the museum at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This exhibit is made possible by the Forest Heritage Center Advisory Board, Oklahoma Arts Council, Oklahoma Forestry Services, Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department and members of the Forest Heritage Center Association.
(Application is an online form on the website – http://www.forestry.ok.gov/artist-of-the-year-application)
Check back for 2022 dates
Forest Heritage Center and Southeast Oklahoma Woodturners offer a series of woodturning classes each spring. Beginning Woodturning: A Foundation Course. These free classes are suitable for beginning to advanced woodturners of all ages and will be held at the Broken Bow High School carpentry shop in February and March.
Students will begin with safety and will gain hands-on experience during the six classes. Each night will feature a short demonstration by a master woodturner and opportunities for students to learn to use a lathe under the supervision of an experienced turner. The “learn to turn” techniques that are taught in class will help students successfully transition to turning in their own shops and the class will help new woodturners develop relationships that will provide mentorship long after the classes have ended.
Additionally, free evening classes will be held for three weeks, each Tuesday and Thursday at the Broken Bow High School’s carpentry shop. Check back for 2021 dates.
For more information contact the Forest Heritage Center at 580-494-6497, visit our website at www.forestry.ok.gov/beginning-woodturning or contact Southeast Oklahoma Woodturners President Ron Engel-Wilson at 580-286-6592.
This program is made possible by the Forest Heritage Center Advisory Board, Southeast Oklahoma Woodturners, the Oklahoma Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts, Oklahoma Forestry Services and members of the Forest Heritage Center Association.