Twelve students from Benicia High School participated recently in the 2016 Santa Cruz Forestry Challenge, one group of a total of 117 high school students from 14 schools from the Santa Cruz and central California region. The event was November 16 to 19 at Redwood Christian Park, near Boulder Creek, California. One of the three teams from Benicia won first place out of a total of 30 teams.
One of the highlights for the students this year was the opportunity to assess an area of redwood forest that was harvested a year ago. Students collected data such as trees per acre, forest density, and recent growth.
They used the data to predict future growth and sustainability of the forest. During the Challenge, the teams of students also completed field training, followed by a field test, to assess their technical forestry knowledge.
“I have been going to Forestry Challenge since 2005 and every year I come back I fall in love with the competition. This is why I love to teach,” said Benicia High School teacher Emily Hudson. Amaya Clark, a junior at Benicia High School, summed it up as follows: “This was my first year doing Forestry Challenge and I had such a memorable learning experience. I can’t wait until next year!”