LEARN & EXPLORE
  • Without natural resources we couldn’t survive. Conservation education is vital to ensuring people of all ages understand and appreciate why natural resources like trees, water and animals are important and how to conserve them for future generations. Texas A&M Forest Service strives to educate and inform all Texans on the benefits and conservation of our resources.

     

     + Educator Resources

    Logo for Texas Project Learning TreeProject Learning Tree is an award-winning environmental education program designed for teachers and other educators. PLT uses the forest as a window into the world, engaging the next generation of America's leaders and decision makers. Find resources and professional development on the Texas PLT website.

     

     

    Logo for Tree Trails

    Tree Trails is a project for students, by students, to celebrate trees. Enhance outdoor classrooms at schools, nature centers and public parks by creating an education trail focused on trees. Access lesson modules and the mapping program on the Tree Trails section.

     

    Logo for Smokey Bear

    As an educator, you can introduce a whole new generation of children to Smokey Bear and his message of Wildfire Prevention. Check out a variety of materials to easily integrate into your curriculum on Smokey Bear’s website.

     

     


    Educator Workshops

    Texas Project Learning Tree offers workshops for all grade level educators throughout Texas. Check our calendar or offer to host one at your facility.

    Teacher Conservation Institute is a week-long workshop held in East Texas which uses the forest to teach environmental education.

    Tree Identification

    The Trees of Texas website hosts a wealth of information from tree biology, a tree dictionary to a way to explore Texas Ecoregions

    Envirothon

    Envirothon is an intense high school team competition set up to enhance students’ environmental literacy and enable them to make informed decisions regarding the environment.

    Texas Forestry Museum

    Tour the Texas Forestry Museum in Lufkin or participate in grade-level programs correlated to TEKS. They offer traveling trunks that are available for checkout, as well as an extensive video library.

    Forest History Society

    If Trees Could Talk is a middle school curriculum in environmental history created by the Forest History Society. The 11-module curriculum gives educators the opportunity to download social studies activities based upon archival materials.

    Natural Inquirer

    The Natural Inquirer is a middle school science education journal created so that scientists can share their research with middle school students. Each article tells about scientific research conducted by scientists in the USDA Forest Service. It is available in both English and Spanish.

     

     + Connect with Nature

     

    Now, it's easier than ever to get your family out and connect with nature with one of these exciting programs:

    Texas Nature Challenge

     

    Logo for Texas Nature Challenge


    The goal of Texas Nature Challenge is to get families and kids outdoors by visiting as many participating parks and nature areas in Texas as they can. At each site, participants complete activity challenges designed for family fun and nature exploration. Travel across Texas or find nature challenges in your area.

    Try out two challenges you can do anytime, anywhere: Tree Time and Tree Search

    Tree Time    Tree Search


    Nature Rocks

    Nature Rocks Logo

    Nature helps make kids healthier happier, and smarter. Nature Rocks Texas helps you find nature-based places, activities and events in your area.

    Logo for Texas Children in Nature

    Texas Children in Nature is a grassroots network working to connect children and families with nature in Texas.

     

    Discover the Forest

     

    Visit the Discover the Forest website to get ideas of where to go and what to do in your forest.

     

     + Posters

    Pecan Tree Poster

    State Tree of Texas Pecan Carya illinoensisThe Pecan poster depicts the history and gives a description of Texas’ state tree, the pecan tree (Carya illinoensis).

    The pecan tree grows in each of Texas’ seven regions and is native to most of the state. As a member of the hickory family, it can grow up to 150 feet tall, with a broad rounded crown. Even with rainfall ranging from 8 inches in the west to 60 inches in the east, pecan trees can be found everywhere in between—growing in orchards, open fields or forests, along streets, in front yards or parks and beside creeks and river bottoms.

    In 1919, the Texas Legislature named the pecan as the state tree as a tribute to former governor James Stephen Hogg (governor from 1891–95). Hogg, on his deathbed said, “Let my children plant at the head of my grave a pecan tree and at my feet an old-fashioned walnut tree. And when these trees shall bear, let the pecans and the walnuts be given out among the plains people so that they may plant them and make Texas a land of trees.”

    To request a Pecan Tree poster, email education@tfs.tamu.edu.

     

    The Trees of Texas Poster

    Texas State Tree - PecanThe colorful Trees of Texas poster walks you through how to identify the state tree of Texas—the pecan tree. To request the Tree Of Texas poster, email education@tfs.tamu.edu. For more information on tree identification, visit our Trees of Texas website.

     

    Tree Cookie Parts

    Tree Cookie

    Print the Tree Cookie Parts mini-poster for your investigation of tree parts using tree cookies. 



    Life of the Forest

    The 10-piece Life of the Forest poster series provides beautiful illustrations to help teach seed germination, tree growth and much more. This series is available as a free download to educators from International Paper Company.

     

     + Activities-To-Go

    Tree Activities

    As part of our Texas Nature Challenge, these tree activity sheets will help you experience and learn more about trees.

    Tree TimeTree Search, Leaf Rainbow

    Tree Time    Tree Search   LeafRainbow

     

    Forest Benefits Wheel

    Working forests demonstrate a continuous cycle that provides public benefits. Download the wheel, cut out and put it together to explore the benefits of our Texas forests.

      Forest Benefits Wheel

         

        Dichotomous Key Practice Activity 

        Get started on learning to use a dichotomous key with this practice activity that includes six tree species. After practice with the key, identify several trees at your school or in your community and then create your own dichotomous key for those trees. 

         

         + Texas Natural Resource/Environmental Literacy Plan

        The Texas Nature Resource/Environmental Literacy Plan serves as a framework to coordinate efforts of formal and informal educators to provide lifelong opportunities for all Texans to become stewards of our natural resources.

        Texas A&M Forest Service endorses this plan and supports environmental literacy within the six components of the plan.

        tnerlp

         

        • Lifelong Learning and Community Connections
        • Formal Education
        • Informal Education
        • Professional Development
        • Assessment
        • Funding and Support


        The plan is coordinated through the Texas Association for Environmental Education. Find the entire plan on their website.