Vista High Students Participate in 2018 San Bernardino Forestry Challenge

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Green Valley Lake, CA — Nine students from Vista High School participated recently in the 2018 San Bernardino Forestry Challenge, one group of a total of 99 high school students from 13 schools from the So Cal area. The event was November 7 to 10 at Green Valley Lake Christian Camp, near Green Valley Lake, California.

One of the highlights for the students this year was the opportunity to visit YMCA Camp Whittle in Fawnskin to collect data on the forested portion of the property. A fuels reduction project will be conducted on the property in the next few months with the primary goal of reducing wildfire severity. Students used their data to determine if the upcoming project will meet the landowner’s objectives. During the Challenge, teams of students also completed field training, followed by a field test, to assess their technical forestry knowledge and data collecting skills.

Vista High School students studied vegetation management at YMCA Camp Whittle at the 2018 San Bernardino Forestry Challenge. Front row, left to right: Mikayla Smith, Ty Newsom
Middle row, left to right: Jade Mital, Natalie Burkett, Ricardo Juarez, Enrique Estrella. Back row, left to right: Charlize Wolf, Sara Benner (advisor), Dylan Atteberry, Wyatt Critz

“This is an amazing event that truly engages students and provides hands-on opportunities for students to work with professional foresters and scientists to solve real-world problems,” said Vista High School teacher Sara Benner. Natalie Burkett, a senior at Vista, summed it up as follows: “Before the Forestry Challenge, I knew nothing about forestry. Now I am able to identify many species of trees and am knowledgeable about the work of foresters.”

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