Tree Ring Education

Drought and catastrophic wildfire threaten forests across New Mexico. Managing these threats to forests and watersheds requires community support and commitment.

The Tree Ring Education Project will build the ecological literacy necessary to support community-based watershed management by empowering a diverse audience to teach about fire, water, and trees. Ciudad SWCD, Wildfire Network, and several local Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) will partner to adapt an existing fire curriculum for Southwestern ecosystems, create Tree Ring Trunks containing supplies for the educational activities, and offer a training for formal and informal educators. This project will include YCC members in program research, development, and education to deepen their understanding of ecological processes and expose them to additional career opportunities. The YCC crews will attend the "Teaching About Tree Rings" workshop along with teachers, natural resource professionals, and Firewise Community leaders. Engaging a diverse audience will support peer to peer learning opportunities and enhance interdisciplinary networks.

The Tree Ring Education Project will build upon two existing resources; the well-established FireWorks curriculum and a book that summarizes tree ring science. Developed in 2000 at the USDA Forest Service Fire Lab in Missoula, Montana, FireWorks is a comprehensive fire ecology and fire behavior curriculum that includes a set of materials arranged in trunks. Thousands of children have learned about the Northern Rockies but the curriculum contains limited resources relevant to Southwestern ecosystems. The project will encourage local implementation of the curriculum by plugging local fire ecology into the existing activities. For example, the FireWorks activity, "Long Stories Told by Old Trees" will be adapted using high-resolution scans of local tree cross-sections to constuct a stand-level fire history. YCC members will utilize the Fire Effects Information System ( ) to compile species summaries for the FireWorks notebook.

The Tree Ring Trunk will compile standards-based resources to allow teachers, natural resource professionals, and youth crews to teach effectively about the interactions of fire and water in Southwestern ecosystems. Although many agency personnel are knowledgeable about natural resource management, they don’t always have the experience or materials necessary to lead hands-on activities. By providing the materials and training, agency personnel and other informal educators can support inquiry-based scientific learning.

Our Mission

Wildfire Network works in pursuit of community wildfire resiliency by working with young adults and communities to promote firefighter safety, job development and youth mentorship. Through wildland fire and land management training, we employ and mentor at-risk youth in forest health, wildfire mitigation and safe firefighting techniques. We educate K-12 youth about natural fire processes within their environment and provide aid to communities with wildfire risk reduction and property stewardship.

Wildfire Network believes the cornerstone of community wildfire resiliency is education in adaptive management techniques on and around private property.

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About Wildfire Network

We are a nonprofit 501(c3) based in Edgewood, NM

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Wildfire Network
47 Sunset Blvd
Edgewood NM 87015


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