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From American Beech to White Oak, ECCo's Winter Tree ID Workshop Teaches Volunteers the Basics

Photo: Laura Milkert

"I frequently tramped eight or ten miles through the deepest snow to keep an appointment with a beech-tree, or a yellow birch, or an old acquaintance among the pines." ~Henry David Thoreau

This winter, staff from The Field Museum and Shirley Heinze Land Trust partnered to host a Winter Tree Identification Workshop at the Barker House and Woods in Michigan City, Indiana.  The second in a series of plant identification workshops, this session focused on helping stewardship volunteers develop winter season botany skills to benefit natural area restoration efforts in northwest Indiana.  Seventeen volunteers and community members attended, not letting nearly a foot of snow deter them from keeping their "appointment with a beech tree".

Led by ECCo ecologist Becky Schillo, participants first spent time indoors studying twig specimens and learning basic plant parts, characteristics, and terminology in an interactive format.  The class then moved outdoors to explore Barker Woods Nature Preserve and practice identifying different tree specimens, putting their new skills to work.  Participants were enthusiastic about the opportunity for hands-on learning and expressed that they were able to "really deepen their knowledge of tree identification".

    Photo: Laura Milkert