In September, a traveling exhibit, Forever Forest, took root at The Magic House, located in St. Louis, Missouri. The exhibit teaches visitors all about trees and how people use the forest to live, work, and play in harmony.
Because this exhibit is practically in the backyard of the National Wood Flooring Association, I took a trip to The Magic House to see the excitement for myself, and I’m glad I did.
From maintaining forests and harvesting trees, to putting wood floors in your home and using products that come from trees, the exhibit truly covers every aspect from the forest to the floor.
The traveling exhibit includes six core pieces: a Tree Top Climber, Harvest Time, Wood Works, Train Challenge, Sawmill Science, and Tree Transport.
In conjunction with the six core pieces, the exhibit used many interactive elements, such as decision dials about when to cut or not cut down trees, a stocked truck of products that come from trees and tree byproducts for you to load into crates, and even a toddler-approved sawmill section. These unique elements worked together to teach children about the forest and the many products we use every day that come from trees. Who am I kidding? Even though the exhibit is designed for children ages 8 and younger, it taught me a lot about the how trees provide so many things we use in our daily lives.
One piece that stood out to me was the different “Career Profile” highlights that could be found at each station throughout the exhibit. Growing up, many children are told college is the only path to a fulfilling and lucrative career. While college is an excellent option for many, it’s not for everyone. This exhibit did a great job exploring different career opportunities within the lumber industry and showing children how they can make a career working with their hands instead of behind a desk. Some of the careers depicted included working in the forest, harvesting lumber, manufacturing the materials into various products, and even installing wood flooring.
I was very impressed with the Forever Forest exhibit and all of the pieces that worked together to help teach visitors about all of the amazing ways our forests contribute to our everyday lives. As a parent, I was thankful for the new knowledge my kids and I were able to gain from our time there.
Created by the Omaha Children’s Museum in collaboration with Union Pacific Railroad and The National Hardwood Forest Foundation, Forever Forest is locally sponsored by Wells Fargo Advisors with a presenting sponsorship by Union Pacific and a supporting sponsorship by North American Wholesale Lumber Association (NAWLA). The exhibit will be at The Magic House in St. Louis through January 7.
More information about this exhibit and where it will travel next can be found online at https://bit.ly/2RBdEsw.