Monday, September 10, 2012

A Year With the Trees - A Personal Field Guide

Now that  I have completed my Environmental Education Certification with the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources, I am going to start teaching  "A Year With the Trees".   The sessions are called "A Year With the Trees - A Personal Field Guide."

Why am I going to do this?

Each person goes through life processing each and every experience in their own way. 
What I experienced during my years of studying in the trees has been very meaningful in my life. 
I had moments of joy where tears just sprung from my eyes because I was happy, and I learned something new every day.
So, it seems I learned something about myself. I learned that being in nature and learning, makes me happy. 
I remember the day I saw and actually felt the beauty of the fall light through the beech trees as I stood in and among the trees in a beech gap. 
I remember the day I found myself walking through a winter-time forest and seeing trees bare of leaves and how the bark covered the standing trees in the snow; seeing the first time the many differences in bark. 
There was the day I realized that I knew the names of the trees by the bark and winter fruits and twigs. 
I experienced the smells and tastes of summer and fall trees, and I ate a cake make with white oak acorn flour, like our ancestors probably ate. 
My favorite may be listening to the sounds of the wind in the leaves and feeling the leaves fall all around me on a cold fall day. 
I sat under each tree and felt peace in knowing they are here and live on this planet with us breathing and cleaning our air and water and soil. I have gained a true appreciation and gratitude for the lives of the trees, which is exactly what I believe you will get out of these sessions. This is why I teach and share about the trees. 

What are the session all about?  There are to be 15 sessions per year.  Each session is 4 hours long. During each session we will visit 5-7 trees.  During our time with each tree, we will journal about the different characteristics of each tree.  After all 15 sessions, you will have visited 93 species of Southern Appalachian trees.  I ask each participant to return to each tree once per season, either on their own or joining me on one of my weekly nature walks.  Each tree will end up with four journal entries, one for each season - Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter.

The journal entries will be our observations, drawings and notes about the tree.  You will record the tree's location so you can go back to the same tree four times.  By the completion of your journal, which I call your personal field guide, you will know all 93 Southern Appalachian trees.  I dare say you could walk in a park or down your street or in your own yard and be able to know the name of each tree and know some pretty interesting stories about each one.  In other words, you will be a tree naturalist!

I hope to share these sessions with many people, of all ages.  Then, have those people teach and share with others what they have learned.  To share nature with people all over the world, is one way to help instill an appreciation and gratitude of nature in all its many forms.  I believe that my being appreciative and grateful, humankind will take care of nature ensuring to our best ability that future generations will have a clean and beautiful planet on which to live a rich and full life.

There is a fee of $40.00 per session. You will need to bring an art quality journal that has at least 100 pages.  I will give you suggestions on this after you register.  This journal will be your personal field guide.  One can take as long as it takes to complete their personal field guide.  I recommend that it be completed within two years.  It took me two years to actually visit all the trees in all four seasons.  Sometimes a season would just be over before I actually got to visit.  However, after two years, I did it!  I will show you my journals and we will begin each one of your journals whenever you start.  I do a brief introduction at the beginning of each session and then, you are ready to start during whatever session you attend and go on from there.

When I get the sessions started, I will post them here on this blog as well as on the N C Environmental Education Website - calendar of events:
and another blog I where I will list only workshops,

You can reach me by calling or emailing.

Rebecca Priddy

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