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Students hit autumn slopes to learn about forests

Andy Bourelle

About 80 children Wednesday learned about the environment of Lake Tahoe – not from books, lectures, or from inside a classroom.

They learned at a ski resort.

With a little bit of help from the warm weather, officials from Sierra-at-Tahoe Ski Resort and the Eldorado National Forest welcomed ninth-graders from South Tahoe High School and first- through eighth-graders from Silver Fork school in Kyburz for an Environmental Education Day.

“It’s a lot better (than sitting in class). It’s a nice day out,” said sophomore Bill Oliver. “It’s fun. You get to be outside and stuff like that.”

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the students rotated to five stations, each addressing different facets of the environment of the basin.

“It’s nice. It’s a hands-on thing rather than listening to lectures and sitting in class,” said sophomore Larry Frye.

This is the fifth year Sierra-at-Tahoe and the Eldorado National Forest have teamed up for the environmental day.

“We are committed to the environment in our daily operation of the resort, and we want to share that philosophy with the community,” said John Rice, Sierra-at-Tahoe’s general manager. “These students live in a beautiful place, and we want to help them better understand and appreciate the environment, so they can care for it as they grow.”

The sessions educated students on a wide-range of issues, including the geological formation of the basin, tree biology, the history of Lake Tahoe and even gold panning.

“I think it’s good for the kids. I really, really believe any knowledge kids can gain is good,” said Tish Sorokwasz, South Tahoe High School biology teacher. “I’m very much a believer in cross-discipline learning. Anything like this is good.”

Tahoe Daily Tribune E-mail: tribune@tahoe.com

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