TFA Announces 2019 Dates for Teacher Conservation Institute

Posted on Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Texas Forestry Association (TFA) has announced dates for three sessions of the Teacher Conservation Institute (TCI), a summer professional development camp for teachers and other educators interested in learning about Texas forests and the benefits they provide.

“Our goal is to increase the level of literacy about forests and the environment by providing teachers with hands-on experiences, resources they can use in the classroom, and connections to natural resource professionals,” said TCI coordinator, Misty Bowie. “We’re offering new workshop formats in different locations this year, hoping to make the program more accessible for educators across the state.” Sessions are open to all classroom teachers, non-formal educators, and other adults interested in teaching youth about forestry and conservation education.

TCI: ForesTREE Experience, led by the Texas A&M Forest Service, is a two-day mini session on June 19-20, 2019, which will start at the Jones State Forest in Conroe. Participants will explore methods for using trees and forests to educate students in all grade levels and nearly any subject area. The second day will be spent in the Huntsville area touring a working forest and a manufacturing facility to examine the role that forests play in our economy and environment.

In addition to the Conroe/Houston session, a new workshop has been added in Austin. TCI: Urban Forest Connections will take place June 25-27, 2019, and will examine the role that forests play in the environmental, economic, and social well-being of Texas cities. Daily field trips led by local resource professionals will examine the unique ecology of Austin’s forested areas as well as the human impact on the environment.

TCI Phase I: A Complete Natural Resource Cycle will be held July 8-12, 2019, at Bugscuffle Inn in Cushing. “This is the traditional summer workshop that we have offered for the past 28 years,” stated Bowie. “We examine the complete life cycle of the forest and tackle concepts like succession, the interdependence of organisms in a forest ecosystem, and how forest health and human health are intertwined.” Field trips include a seedling nursery, certified Tree Farm, harvest operation, manufacturing facilities, and the Texas Forestry Museum.

At each session, participants will experience a combination of hands-on activities, classroom-style sessions, and field trips led by natural resource professionals. Sessions in classroom planning are led by professional educators and Project Learning Tree facilitators. Bowie explained, “Project Learning Tree is the curriculum that we provide to all of our workshop attendees. We want to make sure they are equipped with fun, engaging activities that are correlated to state standards and inspire their students to think critically and creatively about complex environmental issues. It helps teachers translate their TCI experience into something they can use in the classroom.”

For registration cost and continuing education credit hours, please visit, call 1-866-TX TREES, or email us at


Texas Forestry Association, the voice for forestry for over 100 years, promotes an economic, social and political climate that will advance forestry in Texas through education, political action and public relations, as well as serving the broad needs of the forest resource of landowners, producers and consumers, and to enhance and perpetuate the Texas forest resource.