Thompson Forest Education Highlights
Susan Bondar (Zone Forest Educator)
It’s great to have the Forest Education Program in the Thompson/Nicola Region. The program has been running in this area for 3 ½ years now and is very well-received by the teachers and students. The favorite annual educational activities and resources are once again the Interior Logging Association’s Forest Education Van tour and also the Spring Forestry presentations conducted in the school classrooms. As well, we had a planting project to celebrate Earth Day and also hosted a Career Fair in conjunction with the ILA 50th Annual Convention. The word is out there regarding the Forest Education Program and all the benefits for the teachers, students and general public.
Interior Logging Association’s Forest Education Van
The Forest Education Van tour took me to Princeton, Merritt, Kamloops and some rural schools also. I had the Van for 2 weeks and it was busy! Forestry personnel from Weyerhaeuser, BCTS, and a consultant assisted with the explanations for the students.
Classroom Forestry Presentations
Celebrating our forests in schools has become a hallmark for the spring in the Interior. Part of the celebration is to have forestry personnel deliver lessons in the classrooms. This year, requests came in from 3,700 students and teachers. The topic was "The Fire Story - The Unpredictable Truth". The lesson had students participate in activities, learn about First Nations uses of fire, the fire triangle, fire behavior, fire in nature, ecosystem restoration and prevention and suppression. The lessons were well- received, judging from presenter and teacher comments.
Earth Day Planting
Haldane Elementary in Chase has been celebrating Earth Day for 18 years. Part of their celebration is to have the Grade 7 Students plant seedlings in either cut blocks or on private land. This year, we had the good fortune to partner with BC Parks and plant an area in the Neskonlith Lake Provincial Park. The Park had lost its trees from the fire in ’03, drought from a couple of consecutive dry years and also from high winds. On April 25th, fifty students planted 1,900 seedlings (the same amount that 1 planter averages per day!). The weather cooperated, the terrain was gentle, no bugs and lots of fun. We look forward to partnering with BC Parks again for planting projects.
ILA Tradeshow Career Fair
Approximately 500 students participated in the Career Fair at Thompson Rivers University in conjunction with the Interior Logging Association’s Annual Convention. The students were able to meet post-secondary representatives from Selkirk College (Castlegar), UNBC (Prince George), BCIT (Burnaby), TRU Trades and Natural Resource Science (Kamloops) and NVIT (Merritt). Other participants were the Canadian Women in Timber, Wood Manufacturing Council, BC Timber Sales and the Forest Education Program. Students were also able to speak with potential future employers and view an impressive array of harvesting equipment on display and as well, some students had the opportunity to use a heavy duty equipment simulator. Both males and females alike enjoyed their experience at the Career Fair!!
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