These FREE programs will be offered on Tuesdays – Fridays at the Harbison State Forest Education Center. Programs can be modified to reach other specific learning objectives. Programs are free and typically start at 10:00 am and end by 12:00 pm. The first hour will consist of a forest hike and in the second hour students will participate in hands-on Project Learning Tree and Project WILD activities. Picnic tables are available for lunch afterwards but there are no on-site dining facilities. Groups must bring enough adults to accomplish a 1:7 adult to student ratio.
Please contact Beth Foley, Assistant Environmental Education Coordinator, 803-896-8855, firstname.lastname@example.org for more details and to book a program.
We will be following the latest guidance and safety protocols from the CDC and SCDHEC to do our best to protect everybody from the risk of spread of COVID-19. In order to attend, all schools (children and adults) must follow the SC Forestry Commission’s COVID safety procedures:
1. all participants wear masks indoors at all times while maintaining social distancing
of at least 3 feet (all the learning stations are outdoors but the bathrooms are indoors)
2. all participants wear masks outdoors when 6 feet of social distancing cannot be maintained
3. all student participants submit signed COVID release-of-liability forms
If the county of the program location or county of the school has a Cumulative Incidence Rate (as determined by SCDHEC) higher than “Moderate” at any time leading up to the event (up to 3 weeks beforehand), then the program will be canceled or the school’s invitation will rescinded.
Kindergarten – 2nd Grade
PROGRAM 1 – TREE GROWTH
Students will be learn how trees grow and obtain the natural resources needed to survive in the forest. They will age tree cookies (cross sections of a tree) by counting growth rings and will create their own life as a tree cookie. Students will all become a living part of tree to learn its function as well as act out the lifecycle of a tree.
PROGRAM 2 – USING YOUR SENSES IN THE FOREST
Students will learn how living organisms use their five senses to survive in the forest. They will play a game to explore how birds communicate through song. Students will also become beetles that communicate through their sense of smell to discover the use of pheromones.
3rd – 5th Grade
PROGRAM 1 – FOREST ECOLOGY
Students will learn about forest ecology and ecosystem interactions. They will become a biotic organism in a food web to learn about the flow of energy in a forest ecosystem. Students will examine a rotting log to investigate the importance of decomposers.
PROGRAM 2 - ANIMAL ADAPTATIONS IN THE FOREST
Students will explore how animals have adapted to live in their preferred habitat types. They will partake in a game called “Birds and Worms” to learn about the importance of camouflage with predator and prey relationships. Students will partake in an activity to explore how prey organisms also change their behavior to avoid detection in the forest.
6th – 8th Grade
PROGRAM 1 – SURVIVAL IN THE FOREST
Students will learn how plants and animals survive in the forest. They will participate in an activity called “Every Tree for Itself” where they will become trees that must collect the basic resources needed to survive. Students will also become deer that need to acquire the four habitat components needed in a forest ecosystem.
PROGRAM 2 – FIRE IN THE FOREST
Students will learn about the benefits of prescribed fire in a managed forest. They will get to explore how wildfires are different than controlled burns and can be very destructive in a “Fire Tag” game. They will also compete in a challenge to build the best campfire while discovering how fuels burn in the forest.
Junior Forester Program - Harbison State Forest offers an outdoor educational experience with a little learning and a lot of fun.