Monday, February 1, 2010

Learning About Redwoods

Redwood trees are one of the most iconic symbols of California. Towering Coast Redwoods grow to be the tallest trees in the world, and Giant Sequoias of the Sierra Nevada are the most massive. They live longer than almost any other organisms on earth. Redwoods grow in forest communities that instill feelings of awe and inspiration to people who make their pilgrimage from all across the globe to see them. Yet during the late 1800s and early 1900s these forests were being heavily logged and in great danger of being destroyed forever. Today only a very small percentage of the original “first growth” coast redwood forest remains. Although many concerned people and organizations have worked to save these world treasures, the Save-the-Redwoods League was — and still is — a leader in efforts to protect and restore these forests.

The Save-the-Redwoods League was formed in 1918 in response to the uncontrolled logging of the coastal redwoods. Since that time the League has worked to purchase 181,000 acres of redwood forest to be preserved in 59 parks and preserves. They have been a key player in the restoration of damaged redwood forests, and provide grants to fund redwood research.
In addition to this, the Save-the-Redwoods League works to develop high quality educational resources for teachers and environmental education providers. All of the resources are free and fully accessible from their website: Among these resources are:
• Redwood Education grants, available in April, due in June. 230 grants have been given since 2000.
• The Redwood Teacher Tool Kit – includes downloadable fact sheets, reading lists, and information pages.
• Redwood Ed – a guide to Coast Redwoods, with downloadable chapters of background information, field trip ideas, activities, and more.
• The Redwood Transect Activity – an online interactive game for children.
• More resources are coming soon that will feature the Giant Sequoias.

I hope you take a few minutes to visit the website and enjoy all these available resources. Better yet, I hope you can visit a redwood tree or forest in the near future and experience their beauty and serenity for yourself!

-Wendy Harrison, CREEC Coordinator Region 6