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Hocking College Forestry Club to Cross the U.S. to Visit National and State Parks

by Tim Brunicardi on April 3, 2019

Hocking College Forestry Club about to embark on an exciting journey!

Sequoia National Park Photo from Sunset Point Spring 2017From May 3rd – 19th, 19 members of the Hocking College Forestry club will set off on a once in a lifetime trip to see the world’s largest trees as well as some other amazing natural wonders.

The first real destination along the route will be the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona. Located within this park is blue mesa area, which contains a colorful display of highly erodible badland formations. The park’s main feature is one of the largest and most colorful concentrations of petrified wood in the world. Here students will see trees that once grew near the equator millions of years ago but through the long process of petrification, turned to stone.

The next destination will be the Grand Canyon National Park, where the Colorado River has cut a canyon over a mile deep through layers upon layers of once solid rock. Here the club will also be exposed to the dry shrub-land forests dominated by pinyon pine, junipers, and sage brush.

The trip will continue on into the dessert where Mojave National Preserve awaits. Here sand dunes, towering rock walls, cinder cone volcanoes, and Joshua tree forests abound in all directions.

Next up: The Sierra Nevada mountain range in California, where the world’s largest trees stand in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. These trees can stretch to nearly 40 feet in diameter and tower over 300 feet in height! The Sequoia trees are truly striking to view as they are in fact the largest trees in world and often times leave the viewer’s speechless. Neither words nor pictures can do these patriarchs justice. Within these parks also lay the beautiful granite peaks and ice carved valleys of Kings Canyon.

On lookers of a few Giant Sequoia Trees Spring 2017

Following this, the Redwoods state and national parks in northern California, hardly disappoint since they are filled with the tallest trees on planet earth, the coastal redwoods. These massive trees can reach nearly 400 feet in height yet surprisingly only have a root system around 8-12 feet deep. Fern Canyon is also nestled within the redwood parks where vertical cliff walls are covered in lush green ferns that reach crystal clear waters allowing visitors to reminisce of the days when dinosaurs walked the earth.

Since there are no roads that stretch across the Pacific Ocean, the trip will turn back eastward towards Yellowstone National Park. Here students will be exposed to a number of breath taking views of rare wildlife and geological features.

bison close upStudents will have the opportunity to catch the mist from the eruption of the well-known Old Faithful Geyser and walk next to the multi-colored thermal pools aptly named grand prismatic and morning glory. With fortune, students should see bison, elk, antelope, deer, bear, and all sorts of other wild critters. This is awesome trip will surely provide the students with great memories that will last a lifetime.

As one would imagine, a trip of this nature requires a fair amount of expense. So students spend a great number of weekends working on behalf of the club to raise the necessary money. However, the club is not conducting the standard fundraising activities such as car washing or selling candy bars. Rather the club is involved in real world practical forestry experiences such as: planting trees, cutting grape vines, harvesting timber, splitting firewood, and removing hazard trees.

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