School Year 2013-2014

We are busy preparing for our twenty-second school year teaching in Oregon classrooms.  Teachers, make sure you book your programs early.   Late summer and fall are both great times to start a tree unit.  If you aren’t studying trees until later in the school year, you can still book a program now.  Check out our new website:  Go to “For Teachers/Students”, then “Request” to schedule a program.

You can also find all our activities on our site, plus links to other sites of interests.

Have a great first week of school!

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Director’s Report – May 2013

talk about trees logoThis fall Talk About Trees (TAT) began its twenty-first year teaching in Oregon’s classrooms.  Since it’s inception in 1991, Talk About Trees facilitators have visited with over 2,400,000 people.  We continue to grow, becoming more involved in community events and evolving our materials to better serve our audience.

We currently have eighteen facilitators, contracted to teach forest education throughout the state of Oregon.  We offer programs to children from pre-school to middle school.  Additionally, we are active in many local and statewide events, educating the general population.

Talk About Trees is sponsored by Oregon Women in Timber (OWIT).  Oregon Women in Timber is funded in part by Oregon Forest Resources Institute (OFRI).  Additional funds are raised through an annual auction and private and corporate donations.

The goals of the Talk About Trees program are:

  • to encourage awareness and appreciation for the value of trees and forests in our daily lives
  • to encourage an understanding about the protection, management and conservation of the renewable forest

Our forest programs focus on the following concepts:

  • Tree Identification/Classification
  • Photosynthesis/Tree Growth
  • Life Cycle of a Tree
  • Forest Health
  • Trees as a Renewable Resource

OLC School Tours Tami  kidsPre-school, Kindergarten, First and Second grade programs are approximately thirty minutes.  Third grade through Eighth grade programs are an average of sixty minutes.

In 1996, we added a classroom paper-making program that has been extremely well received. This program is designed to let each child make and keep their own piece of paper.  Through generous donations from Smurfit Newsprint and Boise Cascade, we have two videos that complement this program.

In 1999, Willamette Industries donated large group paper-making equipment so that we can also provide this experience to large crowds, as well as classrooms.

In 1997, we implemented an Outdoor component to the Talk About Trees program.  We now can join outdoor schools and other groups looking to experience forest education outside.  Each outdoor setting is unique and this program gives facilitators an opportunity to work in a variety of settings.

Talk About TreesIn 2001, with a grant from the Society of American Foresters, we developed a “Special Events Kit”.  This kit provides information and hands-on activities at statewide events such as county fairs, Arbor Day celebrations, science fairs, etc.

Prior to our classroom visit we encourage teachers to visit our website and use our activity packet to prepare their students for our classroom visit.  The activities are age appropriate and correlated to the Oregon State Educational Benchmarks.

Annual evaluations are administered to teachers and students alike.  Students retain better than 80% of the information presented when tested up to six months after a Talk About Trees Program.   Teachers continually rate our program as “excellent” and invite us to return to their classrooms year after year.

Talk About Trees continues to thrive and grow.  In the 2011-2012 school  year, we visited with over 131,000 children and adults.  The ongoing support of Oregon Women In Timber and Oregon Forest Resources Institute and their partners, will allow Talk About Trees to continue to educate Oregonians about the valuable resource of our forests.

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Talk About Trees Receives Award From SAF

Talk About Trees, Program Director, Joan Mason Ruud received a surprise congratulations email from Dick Powell, announcing that TAT had been selected to receive the Oregon Society of American Foresters’ “Forestry Appreciation Award” and extended an
invitation for her to attend OSAF’s annual meeting. The awards banquet was held on April 25th at the Wild Horse Casino in Pendleton. Joan was pleased to attend and was presented with a plaque and a donation for TAT. She acknowledged Oregon Women in Timber and the Oregon Forest Resources Institute for their many years of support and thanked the Society of American Foresters for their knowledge and contributions from their members throughout the years.

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Auction to Support Talk About Trees

Oregon Women in Timber would like to personally invite you to our 20th annual auction held each year to benefit our education program Talk About Trees! Come Friday, February 25, 2011, for “The Main Event” during the Oregon Logging Conference. The evening will begin at 5:00 PM with conversation, appetizers and cocktails followed by an elegant sit down dinner, and a fabulous silent and live auction. You won’t want to miss this special evening with an Asian flair. Join us for some serious bidding to support forestry education and after the auction, we invite you to continue your conversations into the lobby where you can relax and visit with old friends, into the evening.

Over 2 MILLION students and adults have participated in a Talk About Trees classroom program since 1991! Talk About Trees is a statewide forestry education program. The purpose of the program is to increase student’s knowledge and awareness of forestry and related issues, including the life cycle of trees, forest health, trees as a natural resource, forest as habitat for animals, and careers in forestry. The on-site, hands-on science unit of study is offered to pre-school through eighth grade students free of charge and is presented by Talk About Trees facilitators.

Your support makes a difference! A contract with the Oregon Forest Resources Institute (OFRI) is the primary financial support for the program, but no less critical is the support from our annual auction, grants, and many generous donations from individuals and business. This support and confidence enables Talk About Trees to continue educating Oregonians, young and old, about the valuable resource of our renewable forests.

Take a moment to consider how you can help keep this program in our schools. Fill out the response form enclosed. Your attendance at our auction, a cash donation or donation of an auction item will help us to maintain our success and reach even more students this school year. Remember – All donations and purchases are tax deductible. Oregon Women in Timber is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization. Please note that your cash or item donation (s) and or table reservations must be received by January 31, 2011.

Thank you for your continued support!

Diann Washburn
Auction Co-Chair

Kay King
Auction Co-Chair


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