Talk About Trees ™ is a non-profIt program dedicated to educating children about the responsible management and use of California's most renewable resource. The hands-on science presentations provide an overview of forest ecology, management practices, and product use. They are designed for elementary school students, and supported by professionals in business, education, and government to achieve a better understanding of forest management, forestry as a science, and our dependency on forest trees.
Our qualified facilitators visit elementary school students throughout the state free of charge. Our program has been described as "the premier field trip in the classroom". The 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.
The program began in 1980 under the name "Trees are for People". Nancy Inmon, a science teacher in Southern California, created the program. Inspired by a forestry tour, she saw a need for a balanced, science based forestry education program. She began the program with a grant from the California Department of Forestry. Soon after, the California Women in Timber (CWIT) adopted the program and became its sponsor.
In 1993, Nancy Inmon left the program and the California Women in Timber Forest Education Fund was formed with a volunteer Board of Directors to guide the development of a new program. A new director was hired, new curriculum was developed, and in 1995 the program was given a new name: Talk About Trees was born!
In 1999, the program had grown to serve over 100,000 students statewide. There was a need to change the stewardship of the program to a larger, non-profit organization with tax -exempt status, and the ability to raise additional funding through grant proposals and corporate sponsorships. In November of 1999, the California Women in Timber authorized transfer of the Talk About Trees program to the Forest Foundation. CWIT maintains an integral role in the program as the founding organization, and has a standing member on the Board of Directors. In August of 2000, the Board hired an Executive Director and independent program consultants to design and implement a pro- active, long term strategic plan to continue the growth of the program.