Our natural resources

Third-graders visit the Woodmobile as part of day of education outdoors

Times Observer photo by Stacey Gross Morgan Zaffino, Abby Allen, Autumn German, Emily Johnson, Miranda Gates, and Kendall Tome (in no particular order) enjoyed their tour of the mobile energy trailer, where they learned about the natural sources of energy in Pennsylvania.

Over 300 third graders descended on the Warren County Fairgrounds on Tuesday.

The draw was the annual visit from the Woodmobile, a traveling educational program offered by the Allegheny Hardwoods Utilization Group (AHUG). But the Woodmobile was not alone. Also presenting information to students on both the natural resources that surround us and the careers built upon them were representatives from the Allegheny National Forest, Chapman Dam State Park, Penns Woods, the Pennsylvania Game Commission, and the Friends of the Drake Well Mobile Energy Unit.

The annual event, which draws third graders from throughout the Warren County School District attendance area, is an effort by Warren Forest Higher Education Council to introduce students to the natural resources that are a part of their lives and community, but also to get them thinking about ways to make a living from them.

“The goal is to expose these students to the natural resources around the area,” said Jesse DeLoof, Hi-Ed school to work coordinator. “We have a vast amount of natural resources here,” he said, adding that resources Warren County is known for including oil, lumber, and the Allegheny National Forest, aren’t just physical resources but potential foundations upon which to base a lifetime of work. “There are entire careers centered around these resources,” said DeLoof. His goal is to ensure that students start thinking about them early.

A grand total of 381 students made the rounds at the fairgrounds Tuesday from just before 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., representing Warren Area Elementary Center, Tidioute Charter School, St. Joseph School, Eisenhower Elementary School, Sheffield Elementary School, and Youngsville Elementary Middle School, as well as home schooled students and students from Forest County.

The Warren County School District supports the event, which has been going on for at least 20 years, said DeLoof, and the Warren County Fairgrounds annually provides the venue.