Mobile County 4-H Volunteers
Inducted March 19, 2013
James David Malone is the executive director of Alabama TREASURE Forest Association and Joan Malone is the program coordinator. These two are the inspiration of Classroom in the Forest: Forest in the Classroom TM. They were the first volunteer team to host children at their Heritage Forest more than 18 years ago.
More children today have less contact with the natural world, and this is having a huge impact on their health and development. With literally thousands of children on the ground at Malone Heritage Forest, learning about the importance of private forest landowners and their role in the conservation of our forest natural resources, the Malones are making a difference. They encourage children to remember the past and plan for the future through wise decision making skills-life skills that make the best better.
A trip to Malone Heritage Forest in Chunchula, Ala. is like taking a stroll tl1rough living history. There is a replica of the old home place that allows children and adults to see how life was before all the luxuries of today with electricity. James David teaches living history, math, science, and stewardship from the smokehouse, to the horse-powered sugar cane mill, to the spring house.
Joan guides the guests through the life of a woman of the house in old days. She begins with the iron wash pot over an open fire and tells of days of cooking with wood.
On the walking trail, children learn about the day in and day out of wise management of the forest’s natural resources. Children can be creative and experience their world through environmental, hands-on education. Children learn to recognize the importance of science as it relates to our forest natural resources and the importance of our forest natural resources in everyday life.
James David and Joan love the land and the history of land ownership, and it shows with each group that walks through their forest land and Heritage Home. It is a unique experience. Children are given the opportunity to get back to nature, seek solitude, enjoy the great outdoors, learn the many important lessons that the forest teaches and learn to become better stewards of the land.
Nominated by Jane Hartselle, Regional Extension Agent