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Okanagan-Columbia Forest Education Zone Highlights

Grade 5 Kit Workshops

Learn Forrestry lake and tree sceneForest Education Coordinators Jennifer Stewart and Kalon Nahachewsky held teacher workshops around the Okanagan early in the New Year to present information on how to use the Gr. 5 forest education kits.  This was a great opportunity to not only connect with teachers, but to take them step-by-step through the “Our Living Resource: The Forest” teaching kit.  Every school in the Okanagan– Columbia zone should have one of these grade 5 teaching kit by the end of this school year.

Lisa Marak, Communication Coordinator for the Federation of BC Woodlot Associations, also took part in these workshops. With over ten years of resource management, including a woodlot licence, Lisa has just developed an intermediate teaching resource, "Our Family’ Forest: BC’s Woodlot License Program" and was able to workshop and distribute her resource to the teachers who attended. 

Teacher Professional Development Day

In February, the District Teacher Professional Development Day saw Forest Educators Jennifer Stewart and Kalon Nahachewsky feature forestry grade 3 and grade 5 teaching kits, as well as some other resources that are available for teachers to use in the classroom.  Lisa Marak, from the BC Federation of Woodlot Associations, presented the newly-developed intermediate teaching kit from BC’s Woodlot Licence program, which introduces the forest, the forest resources and the integrated hands-on management of woodlot licences around BC.

ILA Tradeshow and Convention's Secondary Career Fair

ILA Career Fair Forrest Education
Jen Stewart (Okanagan-Columbia) and Susan Bondar (Thompson Forest Education) man the ILA Career Fair's forest education booth.

The Interior Logging Association's 2009 Tradeshow and Convention held in April at the Vernon Multiplex showcased its large outdoor display of high-tech forestry machines and also once again included a secondary student forestry career fair, organized by Okanagan/Columbia Forest Education. Students attending the career fair visited booths manned by participating post-secondaries and forestry associations, including TRU, BCIT, UNBC, ABCFP/UBC, the Canadian Women in Timber, Silver Lake Forest Education Society and the BC Federation of Woodlot Associations.

As well, the ILA's forest education van was available for public tours and forest education resources were on display, hosted by local forest educators from the Okanagan/Columbia, Thompson and COFI South Forest Education.

Interior Logging Association's Forest Education Van on Tour

Forrest Education Van
Summer student, Josh Craig, shows students the forest education materials on display at the Mayor's Environmental Expo.
Forrest Education Van

The Interior Logging Association's forest education van has been a very well-used education tool since its inception in 2001.  This year, VIU forestry student Josh Craig has been hired for the spring and summer months to visit schools, parks, camps and community events around the Southern Interior. The first tour in May saw the van travelling to schools in the Thompson and Gold Trail School Districts, followed by a trip to the West Kootenay for Kaslo's Logger Sports Days and presentations at elementary schools in the Trail and Castlegar area.

On arriving back in the Okanagan, the forest education van attended the Mayor's Environmental Expo, Kelowna Family Day and the Fat Cat Children's Festival. Other destinations such as local elementary schools, Okanagan Valley Provincial campgrounds, Silver Lake Kids' Camp in Peachland and the Boys' and Girls' Club summer camps will keep Josh on the go as he tours and educates about our forests and BC's forest industry throughout the summer in Southern BC communities.

COFI South Forest Education has overseen the development of several new resources for the forest education van this year. A watershed poster created for Forestry Week 2009 school presentations can now be seen when the van goes on tour, as well as a new picture series on forests and water for the van's interior display. 

See a video showing forest education van school presentations at the Cayoosh Elem. website, under "Discover the Forestry Van"  www.cayooshkidz.net/videos.html


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