In collaboration with Tall Timbers and International Forest Company, the Georgia Forestry Foundation recently sponsored a project at Thomasville Central High School to establish a Longleaf Learning Environment on the school’s campus adjacent to the baseball field.

The 1/3-acre restoration site is prominently located on campus, built for prescribed fire and includes a wide variety of native groundcover species. Thomas County Central forestry teacher Glen Gosier has plans for continuing to engage students with this new outdoor classroom, including the use of prescribed fire. In addition, the learning environment can be used for topics beyond forestry, including life science, biology, local history and much more.

“We hope the kids growing up here realize they are growing up in a special place,” said Brian Wiebler, Red Hills community outreach and education coordinator for Tall Timbers. “By bringing a working longleaf forest to the campus where students can see it, they can learn to be stewards and a part of the land. Hopefully, the experience will help them view the forested landscape around them a little differently.”