Every summer, Texas Forestry Association, an organization of forest landowners, forest industry, loggers, resource professionals, and others, sponsors Teachers’ Conservation Institute (TCI) - a week-long workshop which uses the forest to teach environmental education. Activities are led by foresters, educators, natural resource conservationists, and industry professionals. [Go to http://www.texasforestry.org/educators/teachers-conservation-institute/ for more information.]
For several years, TFS Water Resources staff have participated in the camps as leaders and/or presenters, talking about water quality, the relationship between forests and water, and how the forestry community works to protect water and soil during forestry operations.
For the first time, an entire session focusing on water was offered in June of 2012. Classroom studies and field investigations were conducted during the week on many aspects of water: physical and chemical properties of water, groundwater, water conservation issues in Texas, watersheds, wetland habitats and wildlife, and more. There was even a camping trip and canoeing for “up close” water habitat observations.
By the end of the week, participants were certified in Project WET and Watch on Wetlands (environmental education curricula focusing on water), and Leave No Trace. Several continuing education credits were also offered.
These educators are now even more equipped to share with their students and organizations the importance of good stewardship of our water resources here in Texas and the world.