The following is a brief list of frequently asked questions and answers about the Talk About Trees program. These are provided as a resource for facilitators to use when promoting their presentations and speaking to groups who may be interested in scheduling a presentation, considering a donation, or planning to become involved in the program. Feel free to contact the office with any additional questions!
What is Talk About Trees?
Talk About Trees is a non-profit program dedicated to educating children about the responsible management and use of California's most renewable resource. Our qualified facilitators visit elementary school students throughout the state free of charge. Our program has been described as "the premier fieldtrip in the classroom". These one hour presentations follow statewide science curriculum guidelines and are designed to encourage awareness and appreciation for the value of trees and forests in the daily lives of people, and provide a better understanding of the methods utilized to conserve, manage, and protect forest resources.
How long had the program been in existence?
The program started in 1980 in Southern California with a science teacher named Nancy Inman. Originally titled "Trees Are For People", through the support and dedication of founding sponsors, California Women in Timber, the Talk About Trees program has grown to encompass over thirty countries throughout California. Our classroom and outdoor school facilitators serve approximately 60,000 school children each school year.
How does TAT achieve its goals?
Qualified independent contract facilitators and volunteers throughout the state visit classrooms and conduct interactive, hands-on presentations on Tree Identification, Tree Biology, Forest Management, and Product Use. We also have active facilitators who conduct extensive on-site presentations at Outdoor Education Schools in the state. A curriculum unit of nine lesson plans that is provided for teachers to use as a follow-up activity enhances their presentations.
How do you promote your program?
Our facilitators attend educational and environmental workshops in their areas. They meet with educators in their counties, and network in their communities. We also advertise in educational publications, industry newsletters, and newspapers. Our web page has been an excellent source of information for teachers.
Who manages the program?
Talk About Trees is managed by The Forest Foundation staff and Board of Directors. The Board consists of professional volunteers from the forest industry, educational institutes, private businesses and California Women in Timber.
Who Sponsors the program?
The founding sponsor of the program is California Women in Timber. The Forest Foundation now manages the Talk About Trees program which receives funding from the Sierra Cascade Logging Conference Auction, the Morgan Family Foundation and Associated California Loggers. We also receive regular donations from professional organizations, individuals, and a variety of fundraising events. As a non-profit, TAT is dependent on the donations and support of our generous sponsors.
Why is this program needed?
According to the National Academy of Sciences, most Americans know very little about agriculture and natural resource issues, their social and economic significance, and particularly, their links to human health and environmental quality. Research has shown that most elementary school teachers in California do not have the time, resources, or science knowledge needed to educate their students about natural resources. As a result, many students enter adulthood with no information about their own natural resource dependency, and no understanding of the management practices that are needed and used to maintain healthy, productive forests. The Talk About Trees program provides children with factual information they need to make wise decisions about the environment.
What is unique about TAT among environmental programs that are available?
Although there are many environmental programs offered to teach students about environmental awareness, Talk About Trees is the only one that delivers information on the importance of natural, renewable resources directly to the classroom. The TAT program is designed to follow statewide science curriculum, and provide students with balanced information on the importance of trees as a renewable resource, and the connection between humans and the trees that feed, shelter, and provide them with products they need and desire. Facilitators combine information on preservation, conservation, and responsible management. Students learn how trees are essential in our everyday lives, and how with proper management techniques they will always be available.
What does it cost to support a facilitator in one county?
It depends on how many presentations a facilitator conducts. Some facilitators volunteer, and others work as independent contractors and make their own schedules. Yearly contracts can range from $100 to nearly $8,000 for one year.
Do you accept donations?
Absolutely! Our program is dependent on the generous support of those who donate financially, and with in-kind support. We are also interested in developing long-term relationships with other organizations dedicated to educating children about forestry. Checks can be made out to "The Forest Foundation" and mailed to our office:
The Forest Foundation
853 Lincoln Way, Suite 104
Auburn, CA 95603
Do you operate in this county? How can I schedule a presentation?
We have facilitators in approximately 20 counties. The best way to locate one in your county is to check out the web page at www.talkabouttrees.org and click on "facilitators". You will find a list of our active facilitators along with their contact information and the counties they serve. You can also call our office at 1-866-241-TREE or email firstname.lastname@example.org and request a presentation. Your request will be forwarded to the nearest active facilitator.