Ten students from Ponderosa High School participated recently in the 2016 Santa Cruz Forestry Challenge, one group out 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.
Ponderosa High School senior Riley Haddon uses a clinometer to measure tree height, one of the many skills learned at the 2016 Santa Cruz Forestry Challenge.
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.
“Great way for our students to have a productive experience away from home in a safe, substance-free environment,” said Ponderosa High School advisor Jack Michael. Riley Haddon, a senior at Ponderosa High School, summed it up as follows: “I feel everyone should experience Forestry Challenge at least once in their lives!”