I Am the Lorax, I Speak for the Trees

¡Hola a todos!

As an interpretive intern, my first program is the Big Tree Talk. It is a 20 minute educational talk all about Sequoia trees, the biggest trees in the whole world!

To prepare, I’ve researched and shadowed the interpretive park ranger’s talks in order to get ideas. My talk focuses on the Sequoias survival at each stage of their life and the negative/positive human history associated with the trees. Sequoia trees produce millions of seeds and less than 1% of those seeds even germinate. This is because of unsuitable conditions or the seeds get eaten by squirrels. Despite multiple obstacles, these trees grow up to more than 250 feet high and 29 feet in diameter. They can also live up to 3,000 years old!

In the 1850s, people started cutting down the trees for wood. However, the wood was so brittle, up to 80% of the tree shattered when it hit the ground. A lot of the tree was wasted and they turned the salvageable wood into fence posts, pencils, and toothpicks! TOOTHPICKS! As you can imagine, turning the world’s largest trees into toothpicks made a lot of people angry. Local citizens petitioned the government and in 1890, these trees became protected and the area turned into two National Parks, Kings Canyon and Sequoia.

A park ranger, Meredith, told us that as interpretive staff, we are like the Lorax from the Dr. Seuss book. “We speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues!” By talking about these trees, we spread awareness and ensure that these trees will continue to be protected for many years to come.

So far I’ve had three programs! I’ve also been working on my second program, the Grant Tree Walk. This is a 45 min walk and talk about the Sequoia trees.  Eventually, I will be giving these talks in Spanish for the Spanish speaking visitors which I am very excited about! Stay tuned!

¡Hasta Luego!

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