Youth outreach – forest education

FOSM twice has collaborated with Sue Cote, a teacher at the Digital Arts and Technology Academy (DATA), to introduce students to the Sandia Mountains. In both cases, this was the first time in the mountains for most of the students despite their proximity.

October 31, 2022 – FOSM Members Introduce DATA Students to the Sandia Mountains

FOSM provided forest orientation for twenty-one 8th-grade students and 6 adults from Digital Arts and Technology Academy (DATA)

FOSM members Rene Archer, Sam Beard, Dan Benton, and Cliff Giles hosted 21 students and 6 teachers and parents from the Digital Arts and Technology Academy (DATA) on October 31, 2022–a beautiful day for a Halloween adventure in the Sandias.

Sue Cote, teacher of the 8th grade DATA class, and FOSM member Lou Romero worked months planning this activity. Unfortunately, Lou was unable to enjoy the actual event.

The day began at Doc Long Picnic Area where Rene provided information about the Forest Service and Doc Long after which Dan Benton described the creation and purpose of the Sandia Mountains Wilderness Area. We then traveled to Sandia Peak where the students enjoying viewing Albuquerque and the Rio Grande valley below while Cliff Giles talked about the geology of the area and the importance of water conservation. Next it was down to Capulin Picnic Area where Sam Beard led a hike to Capulin Peak and on to a wonderful overlook of Palomas Peak plus Capulin and Las Huertas Canyons. We stopped by the bird log on the way where Sam and Dan described its construction and wildlife inhabiting the mountains. After lunch in the Capulin shelter, Sam described the various tree species in the Sandias, then Dan and Sam described several types of wildlife drinkers located in the mountains.

Click on image above to see the colorful and creative thank you notes from the DATA students.

Students were Andrew Abel, Zay Aguilar, Justus Baca, Francisco Barro, Joe Begg, Aili Cassidy, Desmond Coleman, Elliot Cremens, Brayden Einfalt, Joaquin Gabaldon, Michael Garcia, Destiny Gonzales, Damien Gurule, Austyn Inhoff, Ayden Martinez, Gabe Martinez, Elijah Morales, Shanti Nkouga, Ari Powell, Jayden Robledo, and John Russell. Adults were Nils Coleman (driver, father of Desmond), Desiree Cassidy (driver, mother of Aili), Brian Einfalt (driver, father of Brayden), and Gretchen Begg (mother of Joseph). Teachers were Sue and Heather Yeo, high school drama teacher and 8th grade advisory leader at DATA. 

According to Sue: The kids had SO much fun, they were buzzing on the school bus and when they got back to school Monday afternoon, and were very excited to see the GPS tracks for the hike that we had followed, especially the stats about elevation, etc.

Hover cursor over a photo to see a description. Click on a photo to enlarge it. Use arrows to see other photos.

Photos courtesy of Sue Cote unless otherwise noted.

June 3, 2021 – FOSM Members Introduce DATA Students to the Sandia Mountains

Rene Archer shows students how to create a ditch for draining water

A crew of 15 DATA (Digital Arts and Technology Academy) teachers and students invested 4 hours with Amigos Rene Archer & Lou Romero (Co-Leaders) and two FOSM Instructors (Tribal Knowledge) Sam Beard and Cliff Giles. We hiked a total of 2.1 miles on Oso Corredor and connecting trails from Tree Spring Trailhead using this as a learning lab to introduce the following subjects:

  • The value and uses of the Sandia Mountains
  • Caring for the Land and Serving People – FS Mission, accomplishing Multiple Use Management with a focus on Recreation Uses in the Sandias
  • Tree Mortality; Drought, Density, Insects…
  • Tree and plant species recognition
  • Prevention of soil erosion on trails
  • Using crosscut saw – Demonstration and practice with students
  • GPS applications – facilitating FOSM’s work – locating down trees; hazard trees and mapping thinning acres at Cedro…
  • Fireline construction and what the News Media does not cover in TV news…the real “grunt” work up close and personal to the fireline…beyond the flames, helicopter water drops, airplane retardant drops, trucks and hoses we see in News coverage…

According to Lou Romero: It was a productive, fun, informative, and educational day for 15 of us: 7 students, four teachers, and four members of FOSM and Amigos.