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Cariboo Forest Education Highlights
Gail Wallin & Maureen LeBourdais ( Cariboo Forest Educators)

Bull Mountain 's "Minton Creek" Forestry Trail

For the last two years, Forest Education Coordinators Maureen LeBourdais and Gail Wallin have partnered with the Cariboo Educational Woodlot Society (CEWS), facilitating interpreted hikes on the Minton Creek Forestry Trail to elementary students in the Cariboo-Chilcotin.

The Cariboo Educational Woodlot Society was formed in 1985. Their woodlot is located on Bull Mountain, 19 km north of Williams Lake, off Highway 97. A woodlot is an area of Crown Land that is granted to the public,individuals or groups such as the Woodlot Society - in return for an agreement to manage and harvest timber according to forest legislation and regulations. Many woodlots such as this one include an education and recreation component in their management plan.

In addition to managing the working woodlot, CEWS has developed educational trails and activities that promote knowledge, understanding and use of forest resources. These trails, along with their signage, were designed to educate the general public about the variety of forest resources in the area, including plants, animals, soil, and water, their uses, requirements, and protection, with emphasis on the balance between environmental, social and economic benefits.

Along the 1.5 km Minton Creek Walk is a series of five activity stations, where students take part in a variety of hands-on activities and discussion, learning about tree identification, evidence of wildlife, riparian areas, biodiversity, and multiple uses of the forest, both past and present.

Maureen and Gail are two local education specialists who facilitate forest education in the classroom for K to 12 students in Williams Lake, 100 Mile House, and the outlying areas. "The hikes are always planned early in the school year" September or October "while the weather is still suitable," says Maureen. "We are then able to follow up with in-class activities and speakers. Teachers are also provided with print and web-based resources for follow-up classroom activities."

"The students greatly enjoyed their field trip experience," commented one local teacher. "They still talk about how much they learned and what an 'awesome' time they had."

 

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