Tree Trunks in North Carolina: An Evaluation of a Project Learning Tree Toolkit

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Master of Natural Resources Professional Papers (North Carolina State University. College of Natural Resources)

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North Carolina State University. College of Natural Resources


Abstract Camfield, Sadie. Master of Natural Resources-Ecological Restoration Technical Option. Tree Trunks in North Carolina: An Evaluation of a Project Learning Tree Toolkit The Project Learning Tree resources, known as Tree Trunks, have been used in North Carolina since 1984 as a free supplement the Project Learning Tree K-8 curriculum for educators throughout the state. The 31 Tree Trunks are located at the Project Learning Tree Outposts, Educational State Forests, US Forest Service District Offices and North Carolina Division of Forest Resources District Offices across the state. Over time, many of the materials within the Tree Trunks were lost or damaged and the Tree Trunk managers have moved or retired without replacement. Two populations were surveyed to estimate the value of continuing the Tree Trunk program in North Carolina. The current Tree Trunk managers were surveyed in an effort to evaluate the current state of the Tree Trunks and to assess whether or not they were being used at the facilities that house them. To evaluate the possible use and relevance of the Tree Trunks to teachers today, the participants of the Sustainable Forestry Teachers Academy from the years 2007-2009 were surveyed. Together, these surveys provided information on the current use of the Tree Trunks, the most valuable resources included in the Tree Trunks and possible future implications to continuing the program. The surveys showed that many of the Tree Trunks were missing materials or outdated and few educators had been exposed to these resources. However, the Tree Trunks provide valuable free materials to teachers across the state. If the program was improved and the Tree Trunks were refurbished with up to date materials the Tree Trunks could become a major asset to increasing the level of environmental education in North Carolina.