“Man masters nature not by force, but by understanding”

Smokey Bear Resources

Read the story of Smokey Bear and how he became a national icon, and learn a few facts about his life as a bear! Looking for things to do with your kids or class about Smokey? Check out these Elementary School  resources, which are chock full of activity guides, videos, coloring sheets and a full educator’s guide. For the older kids, check out these Middle School resources that focus on wildfire learning materials, proper campfire etiquette, activities and more..

Environmental Education in Georgia

The goal of EEinGeorgia.org is to build statewide capacity for environmental education by providing EE lesson plans based on Georgia’s curriculum standards, a searchable directory of Georgia’s EE organizations and the resources they offer, a statewide calendar of EE events, EE news, and easy-to-access facts about Georgia’s environment. You’ll also find K-12 lesson plans and a comprehensive listing of schools in Georgia. Looking for a field trip for your school in North Georgia? Check out Brasstown Bald and Anna Ruby Falls,  Both sites offer schools and the general public programming opportunities. Adventures, tours and programs await you in North Georgia!

NC Environmental Education Workshops

The NC Office of Environmental Education offers workshops for teachers, parents, and anyone interested in teaching their school groups or children about the great outdoors. In most cases, the workshops are free and travel to different regions to accommodate as many people as possible. You may wish to use these workshops in conjunction with the NC Environmental Education Certification program, which allows the public the opportunity to gain a higher level of experience in teaching the curriculum. Click HERE to learn more.


Cradle of Forestry School Field Trips

We recognize that field trips enrich the learning experience.  Therefore, the Cradle of Forestry Heritage Site strives to be a top field trip destination for students and teachers in western North Carolina.  Because we are located in an area rich in history and natural diversity, we can offer School Field Trips featuring science, social studies and history. View a complete list of programs and their NC curriculum correlation.

Natural Inquirer:

The Natural Inquirer – USDA Forest Service

CFAIA partners with the Natural Inquirer Team to provide a myriad of tools.  The Natural Inquirer is a middle school science education journal created to allow scientists the opportunity to share their research with students around the country. Each article explains the current scientific research conducted by scientists in the USDA Forest Service which may include information on trees, wildlife, insects, outdoor activities, water and anything pertaining to the health of our planet. Check out the website and order your free journal for your class!

The Investi-gator is a free science journal for upper elementary level students. A sister publication to the Natural Inquirer, this journal is created in partnership with the USDA Forest Service and the Cradle of Forestry Interpretive Association. The journal focuses on contemporary, Forest Service research and is written in the format of a scientific article.  They have even included some lesson plans.

Would you like to encourage your students to start thinking about their future career?  Natural Inquirer scientist cards help student see themselves as scientists.  They feature USDA Forest Service scientists ranging from hydrologists and foresters, to wildlife biologists and more.  Order a set for your classroom here!



Discover The Forest!

Take a look at how important the forest is, find the closest forest to where you live and do your part to help conserve our public lands!  With the Agents of Discover mobile game, your child can put their phone or iPad to good use as they move, solve puzzles and discover their local forests and parks. Not sure how to pack for a day in the woods? Find out what supplies you’ll need for your adventure, learn about Leave No Trace ethics and read a list of Dos and Don’ts while exploring your local forests.

Family Programs at CFAIA Locations:

Are you looking for a way to spend some quality time with your family while learning something new? The CFAIA is committed to providing visitors with environmental education and recreational opportunities for children, adults and everyone in between. Programs take place within the CFAIA campgrounds and visitor centers in NC, GA, and IN from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Hikes, crafts, wildlife ID, local history and much more are all subjects and programs that our Education Specialists are trained to teach our visitors each summer at these areas:

Fees may be associated with these programs (campground registration or day use fees).  Programs within campgrounds may require that you are a registered camper.

Campfire Safety and Fire Prevention

Camping is an adventure – and we want you to be as safe as possible when on our public lands. Learn the proper way to build, maintain and extinguish a campfire while on the trail or in a campground.  Use this list of campfire rules as a guideline every time you’re on the trail or preparing a nice, hot fire for s’mores or hotdogs!  Thinking about starting a bonfire in the back yard or burning some branches and leaves?  Check out this step-by-step guide on backyard burning to keep your house, your neighborhood, and yourself safe. Finally, help Smokey prevent future wildfires by stopping the fire before it even starts.


The Pisgah Field School can introduce you to the unique natural and cultural wonders of Pisgah National Forest, DuPont State Recreational Forest and the Blue Ridge Parkway through tours, hikes and nature-based programming and workshops.


Reaching underrepresented populations in WNC, the Pisgah Explorers Club offers a free, hands-on approach to environmental studies and focuses on the ecology of southern Appalachia.  Activities are designed to inspire strategies for protecting our natural world and generate positive attitudes toward the outdoors.  The Pisgah Explorers Club is a subset of the Cradle of Forestry Interpretive Association and The Pisgah Field School.