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Bald Cypress Tree Observation


Guess How Old

Visit another ancient creature on campus, the bald cypress tree! Pick your favorite and try to figure out how old it might be! Bald cypress are slow-growing, long-lived trees that regularly reach up to 600 years in age!
Travis Assets - paleo 4

Science Seed

To calculate a tree’s age start off by finding the diameter. To find the diameter, first find the circumference by wrapping a string or shoelace tightly around the trunk of the tree and marking or cutting where the ends meet. Younger students can stop here, or continue by dividing the circumference by pi (3.14). That is your diameter! Then multiply the diameter by the growth factor. Growth factor varies by species and for many is only approximate. The growth factor for bald cypress is around 4.5. Diameter X Growth Factor = Approximate Tree Age. For example, 25.14 diameter X 4.5 growth factor = around 113 years old.
botany jar illustration

earn Badges

Badges can be earned through hands-on experiences within each of the 16 branches of science, or “Science Slices.” You can earn a badge in each branch of science by doing four activities in these categories. We also encourage participants to keep a Nature Journal to record their memories, and to express themselves creatively through writing or drawing after each activity. We recommend that each child (and parent if they’d like) write or draw in a journal after each activity, with expectations of your children that match their age (the goal is self-expression, not perfection).

Explore the Travis Elementary

Use this map to help you guide your way through the Travis Elementary as you complete activities.

join Families in Nature

It is our vision to inspire all families to fall in love with nature and foster the next generation of conservationists. Becoming a member of Families in Nature will give your family the opportunity to have adventures in nature, experience field science, develop as youth conservation leaders, and make memories that will last a lifetime. Memberships are free for everyone.

Who are we?

Families in Nature works to create opportunities for nature connection with the purpose of sparking a deep love and desire to protect, conserve and restore the environment. Our mission is to connect children and their families to nature and to each other through time spent learning, playing, and volunteering outdoors. It is our vision to inspire ALL families to fall in love with nature and foster the next generation of conservationists.

SPARK’s mission is to work with public schools to develop their playgrounds into community parks. SPARK has built 200+ community parks in 17 different school districts throughout the Houston area. Each park is designed based on ideas and needs of the school and surrounding neighborhoods. While all of the parks are different, a typical park consists of modular playground equipment, a walking trail, benches, picnic tables, trees, an outdoor classroom, and a public art component.

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