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Merit Badge Awardees (click for latest awards)

My featured Merit Badge Awardee of the Week is … Rebecca Alvarez!!!

Rebecca Alvarez (TinyChinaCows, #7224) has received a certificate of achievement in Outpost for earning a Beginner Level Speak for the Trees Merit Badge!

“I’ve had this National Geographic Field Guide to the Trees of North America on my bookshelf for a while, so when I read the requirements for the “Speak for the Trees” badge, I snatched the book from the shelf and headed outside. I live in an apartment complex, but we have many different trees that need identifying! I identified the three required for this badge, but I’m certainly going be taking more tree-finding walks while the weather is nice!

I had lots of fun identifying our trees! The first one outside my building has peeling bark that looks like it’s been painted in watercolors and tosses these fuzzy spheres at us every year. It’s an American Sycamore, native to the Eastern U.S. (I took a photo, included below.) Another nearby tree turned out to be a Crepe Myrtle. It showers the sidewalk with flowers every year and is native to Japan and China.

Finally, it turns out that we actually have two different species of oak trees pelting us with acorns lately. One is Live Oak, native to our area and festooned with Spanish Moss. The other seems to be a Laurel Oak, which, according to my book, is a hybrid and is frequently used in Florida landscapes. On my next walk, I’m going to try to identify some of the palm trees we have around here.”


  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Hi Rebecca from up here in Gainesville, Florida. We are lucky to have both a Live Oak and a Laurel Oak in our yard. Aren’t they they most gorgeous trees? They are like huge friends that live in your yard and keep you company. Our squirrels go nuts this time of year with so many acorns too. Keep up your learning adventures and let us know more about the Palms in your area. You have more varieties where you live than we do up here in the North.

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