CRESTVIEW — After a visit to the McMahon Environmental Center, Antioch Elementary School fourth-graders can tell if a longleaf pine tree is deciduous or evergreen and know approximately how many everyday products come from trees.


CRESTVIEW — Is a longleaf pine tree deciduous or evergreen?



Approximately how many everyday products come from trees?



Antioch Elementary School fourth-graders can answer these and many more questions about trees following field trips Wednesday and Thursday to the McMahon Environmental Center.



In groups of about 10, the kids observed some of the center's more than 100 native trees. During tree tours with senior forester Maria Wilson, of the Florida Forest Service, they learned about tree characteristics.



In addition, students conducted a scavenger hunt in the museum with retired forester John McMahon, the center’s namesake, and wrote a paragraph about their favorite tree.



"Programs like this teach the kids an awful lot in a short period of time," McMahon said.



"This was a way for the kids to get out and learn about native Florida plants and animals and practice science skills," Okaloosa School District science coordinator Dawn Pack said. "It combines science, social studies and language arts."



"We're also teaching environmental appreciation," McMahon said, adding that the trees in the environmental center are protected.



As for the initial questions, a longleaf pine is an evergreen and in the United States, more than 10,000 everyday products, including clothing and make-up, come from trees.



But Antioch fourth-graders already knew that.



Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Brian Hughes at 850-682-6524 or brianh@crestviewbulletin.com. Follow him on Twitter @cnbBrian.