The Gila National Forest has a lot of activities and learning opportunities that are perfect for parents and teachers. Kids and adults alike will love some of the interpretive sites around the forest like the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument and Catwalk Recreation Area. The Gila National Forest has a rich history displayed in the prehistoric settlements on the forest and the many geological formations. Kids will also like rockhounding and fossil hunting on the forest. The high biodiversity on the Gila makes it an attractive destination for those looking to learn about and appreciate wildlife. There are unique confluences of ecosystems here with riparian systems adjacent to high desert and old growth forests as well.
It is important to get our kids involved with nature, both to keep kids active and learning about the world around them and to foster an appreciation in them that will continue throughout their lives. Contact the one of the Ranger District Offices for further information on great places to take the kids for fun and learning.
The Forest Service has recently launched a brand new Conservation Education web site. This site is dedicated to educators - both formal and non-formal. We invite you to visit this excellent wealth of information and take advantage of the varied resources provided. Topics include climate change, wildlife and wildlands, NatureWatch, More Kids in the Woods and more! There are links to programs and materials, contests and where to order Smokey Bear materials.
Additional sources for education resources and materials:
There are sections devoted to education resources on the Smokey Bear site and USDA for Kids web sites.
Crayola National Wildflower Week site has coloring sheets and lesson plans for this and other holidays. Check the calendar for May for National Wildflower Week materials. Other outdoor events are also available.
Eyes on Wildlife resources for teachers promotes learning about forest animals and plants and their habitat requirements.