Wooster Elementary presented Arkansas’ Forest Exchange Box for the United Nations International Year of Forests to Arkansas Forestry Commission Deputy State Forester Doug Akin at a ceremony last week. Arkansas Project Learning Tree (PLT) worked with fifth-grade teacher Jennifer Richardson to compile and decorate the box to share at various events throughout the United States during 2011.

At the presentation ceremony, students led an audio-visual "Hike Through the Box," which contains items, samples, data, facts, reports and photographs about Arkansas’s forests. The program also included "Lullaby for the Trees," sung by the Wooster Elementary choir, and planting an Arkansas-native Tulip Poplar tree on the school grounds.

"As part of this yearlong event, this Forest Exchange Box will join others from across the United States and be on display at an American Forest Foundation event in Washington D.C., and other events around the country," said Rob Beadel, director of forestry education for the Arkansas Forestry Association Education Foundation, which coordinates PLT in the state. "We are proud to share with others how forests have been a major part of Arkansas’s history and are still abundant, supporting a $3 billion industry today."

After the presentation, the Forest Exchange Box will be shipped to various locations based on requests currently being considered including, New York City for the U.N. kickoff celebration.