My “Best of” List for 2013

Deborah Zierten teaches students about the redwood forest and shows them how to gather data just like a scientist.
Deborah teaches students about redwoods and shows them how to gather data just like a scientist.

As 2013 comes to a close, it’s that time again for the “best of” lists to come out.  You know—the best movies of the year, the best music, etc. Since I started my job here at Save the Redwoods League in 2013, I thought I would write my own “best of” list for my past eight months on the job.

1. Our Diverse Education Grants Recipients. Over the past few months I have had opportunities to visit and connect with many of our education grantees and I am thoroughly inspired by the work they do. We support programs where high school students conduct genetic analysis on redwood needles. There are schools which teach their students a semester-long unit on redwood forests, concluding with a field trip to experience their beauty firsthand. We have projects which emphasize stewardship and restoration, and others which concentrate on team building and leadership skills–all using the redwood forest as  inspiration. Since not every student learns and becomes engaged in the same way, it is important to have diverse education programs so that every student can feel connected to our forests.

2. Partnerships. Collaboration, working together, building community—these are all things that we value here at the League and which I love about my job. I work with local, state and federal redwood parks to strengthen environmental education throughout the redwood range. My work with teachers and non-profit organizations brings redwood education into the classroom and further promotes the drive to get students into nature. We brainstorm together, share ideas, and get inspired by new opportunities to work together.

3. The Redwoods. Although I grew up in the Bay Area and visited Redwood Regional Park all the time, walking among the giants at Humboldt Redwoods and Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Parks still takes my breath away. I have been fortunate to visit many new redwood parks in the past few months, but there are still many more on my list. Hopefully I will one day be able to say I’ve visited every single redwood park and preserve. Each redwood forest feels slightly different, gives me new inspiration and reaffirms the work of the League.

It’s been a great year, and I have no doubt that 2014 will include an even longer “best of” list!

Leave a comment and please let us know your “best of” moments in the redwood forests in 2013 or years past.

About the author

Deborah joined the League's staff in 2013 as the Education & Interpretation Manager. She brings with her extensive experience teaching science, developing curriculum and connecting kids to the natural world.

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