If you go down to the woods today…
The Forest Project is a focus for visits by schools. On 16 January and 5 February 2013 children from IITA International School went seed collecting. They came back with colorful Afzelia seeds, bush mangoes (Irvingia wombulu), velvety Millettia pods, and a bucketful of huge papery Pterocarpus osun fruits. Forest Project staff showed how to clean and sow the seeds which are now growing well outside the Science Room. When large enough, the young trees will be planted by the children as part of the Project’s reforestation program.

The Ibadan International School made field trips to IITA Forest Reserve on 28 February and 4 March as part of the environmental education syllabus. Topics covered by Deni Bown (Manager, IITA Forest Project) on these visits were natural resources and endangered species respectively. Relating concepts to things seen in the forest is an effective way for children to learn about their natural heritage and conservation issues.

African whitewood (Triplochiton scleroxylon)

The African whitewood (Triplochiton scleroxylon), known as arere in Yoruba and obeche in Bini, is a large fast-growing tree, reaching 65 m (213 ft), usually with a straight trunk and buttresses up to about 8 m (26 ft) high. It belongs to the family Sterculiaceae and is common in semi-deciduous rainforests from Sierra Leone to Gabon and Congo, including secondary forests where it may fill gaps as a pioneer species.

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