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Rest stops in Alabama become learning stops for travelers

Published: Dec. 17, 2021 at 6:03 PM CST
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala, (WBRC) - The next time you stop a rest area in Alabama, check out the new tree identification program. It’s designed to give travelers a chance to do more than just rest and walk their pets, but also an opportunity take in some of the native trees in the state.

The state has 27 rest areas stretching from the north all the way down to the south, and you’ll find labels like the one attached to trees such as the Southern Red Oak. It’s a partnership between ALDOT and Wayne Ford, a registered forester. 370 trees have been identified at the rest areas, labels naming 65 different species.

“Some people from Ireland were walking around and looking at the trees and they said ‘what kind of tree is this?’ Well, I thought this would be an ideal thing to show these people who get out in these rest areas and rest, take their dogs for a walk and they can learn something while they’re in Alabama,” said Ford.

Wayne Ford says as far he knows Alabama is the only state in the country that’s instituted a rest area tree identification program.

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