Society of American Foresters

Northwest Regions

SAF at the Washington State Fair

Oct. 25, 2015

Washington State SAF Goes to the State Fair

Washington State Society members greeted fairgoers at this year’s 17-day Washington State Fair, held September 11-27 in Puyallup.

Washington State has the working forests and working families’ exhibit to show collaborative efforts across the landscape and the economic impacts that forestry has in our state. The SAF display area included parts of the Working Forest and Biofuels exhibits, as well as log rounds of different age classes that invite interactive participation and are a good gateway of contact with the public.

One 460-year-old fir had buttons on the side to show historic events that happened during the life of the tree. Another log round was a 32-year-old tree farm example of grand fir. The age rings are much farther apart; most of the public was baffled by this phenomenon.

A major draw to the booth was a children’s hands-on activity with model raw material loading equipment—a perfect way for adults to rest and engage in conversation with professionals staffing the booth.

A big thanks to all who helped out with this effort. The Fair is consistently in the top 10 of the largest fairs in the world and a great opportunity to talk forestry with the public.

Shown right to left are chair-elect John Walkowiak and wife Elly. They had a wonderful time at the booth sharing their forestry knowledge with the passing public.

The first weekend of the State fair, Steve Ricketts volunteered and was enthusiastic to educate the public people who visited the booth. He also made vests like the one Candra Grimm is wearing (see below), which has a patch that signifies the establishment of the Society of American Foresters in 1900. Steve did a great job of engaging the public with simple open-ended questions, which remind visitors of things seen in nature every day. Giving the public a take-home message was the most important part of this educational outreach.