Photo by Michelle Harris. Haywood Community College recently held an acceptance ceremony for the Joe & Sue Morrow Teaching Forest. This forest will be used as an outdoor laboratory for students in the College’s natural resources programs and will provide invaluable hands-on learning experience throughout its over 50 acres. Pictured left to right are Joe and Sue Morrow.

Haywood Community College recently held an acceptance ceremony for the Joe & Sue Morrow Teaching Forest. This forest will be used as an outdoor laboratory for students in the College’s natural resources programs and will provide invaluable hands-on learning experience throughout its more than 50 acres. Second-year students may begin utilizing this teaching forest as early as spring semester. Haywood County Soil & Water Conservation holds the conservation easement on this property.

“It is wonderful that Joe and Sue Morrow will leave behind such a legacy through this gift,” says HCC President Dr. Barbara Parker. “The forest will significantly impact our students and the community forever. We sincerely thank them.”

The Morrows are both retired educators and are engaged in the community. Joe worked as a teacher, coach, assistant principal, principal and assistant superintendent. In addition, he worked for the North Carolina Community College System. Sue worked at the elementary and middle school levels.

According to HCC forest management technology instructor Kesi Stoneking Goure, every class in the natural resources programs will benefit from the Joe & Sue Morrow Teaching Forest. “The proximity of this property to the school is really beneficial. I am looking forward to getting students out there. It will be really interesting to study this forest as it grows.”

HCC fish & wildlife lead instructor Shannon Rabby echoes the sentiment. “There are many ways we plan to use this forest from ornithology class to planting native grasses to having students get hands-on practice developing a wildlife management plan. We are very grateful.”   

For more information about HCC’s natural resources programs, please call 828-627-4560 or visit online at haywood.edu.