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PLAS students get visit from Alabama Forestry Association

First-graders at Pike Liberal Arts Schools learned a few lessons about the forestry industry through a children’s book and special presentation Friday morning.

Anna Morgan Duke, the grassroots coordinator for the Alabama Forestry Association, brought along a few friends on the Forestry Commission’s “Lucy Tour.”

“The Alabama Forestry Association’s ‘Lucy Tour’ is traveling statewide,” Duke said. “The tour is named after a children’s book, “Lucy Meets a Logger,” that was written by Stephanie Fuller,” Duke said. “It teaches young kids about career opportunities in the forestry industry and that trees are a good, sustainable resource. By the time children reach the eighth grade, they have formed an opinion about the forestry industry. We want to reach kids at a younger age and teach them about the forestry industry from our perspective.”

Duke said the Lucy Tour started on March 1, and so far, the tour has made 17 stops. She said the tour will continue at schools for a few more weeks, then transition to summer library reading programs. She said in the fall, the Lucy tour would return to schools and wrap up in December.

Fuller works for the Forestry Workforce Training Institute and comes from a family in the forestry industry.

“My father was a logger, so I grew up in the industry,” Fuller said. “I knew I wanted to work in the industry. Now, I help find ways for the industry to educate young kids. We tell them our story on their level.”

Fuller said “Lucy Meets a Logger” follows the story of a child, Lucy, who meets Mr. Logger. From Mr. Logger, Lucy learns all about the equipment loggers use, forest sustainability and the products that come from trees.

“What we really want to emphasize to children is that forestry is a sustainable industry,” she said. “Whenever we harvest a tree, we plant multiple trees to replace it. Forestry is the most sustainable industry.”

State Rep. Wes Allen read Lucy Meets a Logger to the children and then John Henderson, owner of W.E. Logging, Inc., talked with children about the many different products that come from trees.

“The forestry industry is vital to our economy,” Allen said. “I want to applaud the industry and all of the forestry employees who go to work everyday and work hard.”