New field cards introduce wonders of the forest

September 20, 2005
photo of woodpecker card front
photo of woodpecker card back

OSU Extension has developed new ecology field cards to help students learn about the wonders of Willamette Valley ecosystems. The first set of 50 cards explores the Douglas-fir forest.

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Welcome to the world of the Douglas-fir forest.

That's the invitation from a new set of learning cards designed by the Benton County office of the Oregon State University Extension Service.

The 50-card set describes common plants, animals and fungi found in the Douglas-fir forests of the Willamette Valley. Photographs, drawings, maps and clearly written descriptions on each laminated card help students get to know the life of the local forests.

Accompanying each set of illustrated field cards is an educator's guide designed for fourth-through sixth-grade students, and all activities are benchmarked to the Oregon Educational Standards. There are also suggested sites for local field study and supplemental materials helpful for educators.

The set of Douglas-fir Ecology Field Cards was developed by Maggie Livesay, OSU 4-H youth development faculty; Jody Einerson, OSU Extension forestry program assistant; and David Zahler, OSU Forestry Media Center, with the help of many local scientists. This is the first in a series that the OSU Extension Benton County office will produce to explore the Willamette Valley's oak woodlands, prairies, riparian bottomland forest, wetlands, and urban habitats.

"We developed the idea of the Ecology Field Cards to fill a need for outdoor educational materials that focused on places within the Willamette Valley, where people in Benton and surrounding counties could visit and learn for themselves," Livesay said.

"Our hope is that by focusing on plants and animals that students can see, hear or smell, in local habitats where students can visit, we will increase people's knowledge about their Willamette Valley environments," she added.

The Douglas-fir Ecology Field Cards and Educators Guide can be purchased at the OSU Bookstore or ordered for $35, plus $6 for shipping and handling. Contact the Benton County office of the OSU Extension Service, 1849 N.W. 9th St., Corvallis, OR 97330; telephone 541-766-6750; or visit the website at:

Author: Peg Herring
Source: Maggie Livesay