The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.

Helen Keller

This photo is taken by Yuyang Zhan at Field Education Center at the Aleza Lake Research Forest

Nearly one week age, I have been going to the Field Education Center at the Aleza Lake Research Forest which was established in 2000 and spend 3 hours in there. As manager told us that the purpose of this center is to help students understand the stewardship of the Aleza Lake Research Forest. When I arrived there, I was suddenly attracted by the landscape of the forest. Since this was the first time for me to see a real forest,I mean a natural(original) forest, less affected by human activities. The forest kept its original system which was easy to figure out when we stood on the cabana. By spent most of time to carefully observe the layout of this forest, I saw lager size and medium size of trees always located at the center of the forest and small and tiny size of trees stood around the forest. This situation gave me an idea that if we do not built this education center in there, there would have more large and medium size of trees and the size of that forest could be larger. The reason why I got this idea is that a tiny tree will spent decades to grow into a medium size after that it will take another 3-4 decades to grow into a large size. Comparing with our life time, it is such a long time. I start to understand the reason why human being should try to protect the environment because we are not do it for ourselves, we are doing it for our offspring.

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But, please do not get me wrong. I am not saying we should not build this education center, by contrast, I really appreciate we could have a chance to study in there and have a chance to touch the natural due to there is a education center in this forest. By learning from this trip or environmental classes, we could earn a strong feeling which we should protect the environment. The environment is so strong, it could survive in a place for decades and breed hundreds of different animals and plants. However, the environmental is so puniness, human could destroy a large size of forest in a day by using machines and tools and make sure there is nothing left. As for me, I always try to find a balance between the natural and human. I try to learn some new stuffs through carefully observe the relation between it and some thing I known already. Through this trip, I improve my personal knowledge and understand why we need to read the article “What is natural history anyway” and the reason why we watch that TED talk together.

In my opinion, our professors want us to touch the natural, love natural and protect natural. At first, we learn from other people through video and article in order to have a basic understanding of knowledge then we prove it by practice. The common idea of video and article is that they encourage us to know the natural and try to make friend with it. By learning its habits, favor and shortage, we could do a better job when we are trying to protect it. as for me, this is the real meaning of this Aleza Lake Trip. And I really appreciate that I could have this chance to visit Field Education Center at the Aleza Lake Research Forest, improve my personal knowledge of forest and even make some new friends during the trip.

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All of these photos were taken by Yuyang Zhan on September 14th 2016 at the Field Education Center in the Aleza Lake Research Forest .