Expanding Our Roots
BC Celebrates National Forest Week
Established circa 1920 as Forest Fire Prevention Week, the intention was to encourage greater public awareness towards Canada's forests. At the time, there was no apparent shortage of trees for industrial expansion – the greatest threat came from forest fires, due mainly to human causes.
Since then, National Forest Week, as it was renamed in 1967, has evolved to encompass the many and varied human and environmental aspects of Canada's forest resources – past, present and future.
Although special activities are promoted across Canada, National Forest Week remains first and foremost a challenge to individual Canadians to learn more about their forest heritage and support greater recognition of this valuable
West Kootenay 2009 National Forest Week Event
Neil Bow, Tenures Forester
Kootenay Lake Forest District
In September, staff from the Kootenay Lake Forest District, Southern Interior Forest Region, Wildfire Management Branch, BCTS, Ministry of Environment, and four FS retirees hosted 244 Grade 5 students from Nelson and Kaslo schools. The event took place at Kokanee Creek Provincial Park. As Forest Resources are a part of the Grade 5 school curriculum in School District #8, it seemed logical that, as a part of National Forestry Week, the local Forest Service office would organize a day of learning and fun for these students.
The students circulated through eight activities, organized into four different stations. Station 1 was the Environment station, where the local wildlife habitat biologists reviewed some of the attributes of ungulates and carnivores and explained how caribou habitat is being protected on Crown land. The students were guided through the Interior Logging Association's forest education van by West Kootenay forest educator, Darcee O’Hearn, who helped them understand how many different household and forest products are extracted from forest resources and the values that are considered throughout these processes.
At Station 2, the fun kicked into high gear. This was the Protection station where the students had been warned that they might get wet! The first activity involved small teams involved in a relay race where cooperation and hand tank pumps were used to knock out targets. The second activity involved a review of the vehicles, tools and equipment used by initial attack crews and some students were geared up to put out a small burning log. The students were very engaged in both of these activities.
Station 3 was called "Bugs, Bark and Art" and is this where kids could warm up, and dry out a little, while they learned about forest health. One of the activities at this station had kids use felt pens to colour a small tree cookie, which was subsequently spray-lacquered, and the cookies were sent home at the end of the day as a personal souvenir. At the second activity, the students used screwdrivers to work over sections of beetle-infested lodgepole pine tree boles looking for live beetles and observed the various galleries under the bark. The bark beetle funnel traps were explained to the students and each student had a chance to try to get popcorn kernels into the traps to see how the traps functioned.
At Station 4, the students completed a scavenger hunt where they discovered various forest attributes set up in a circular route through the park. Plants were identified, tree quality features were reviewed and the kids had a great time looking for all the items on their list. This station helped the students become more aware of the function and interrelationships of forest stand attributes and structure.
At the end of the day, each student received either a Douglas fir or lodgepole pine seedling generously donated by Pacific Regeneration Technologies nursery in Harrop to take home with them, where they could plant it and watch it grow. The weather co-operated and both the kids and the staff involved left with some very fond memories.
Kootenay Lake Forestry Centre staff would like to thank all the school kids, teachers, teaching assistants, the Interior Logging Association and Pacific Regeneration Technologies for making Forestry Day 2009 a really fun event!
North Island 2009 National Forest Week Activities
Lisa Brown, Practices Forester
BCTS, North Island NFP Member
With the vast amount of forest surrounding their communities, and the role these forests play in the social well-being of residents, local foresters are particularly committed to promoting forestry awareness on Northern Vancouver Island. The North Island Network of Forest Professionals (NFP) includes 153 forest professionals, and is one of the most active NFP’s in the province, with a long history of promoting coastal forestry.
Over the years, the North Island NFP has successfully hosted a wide-variety of community events, including forestry information booths, large-scale forest road garbage cleanups, and classroom presentations.
In March 2008, members of the North Island NFP formed a National Forest Week planning committee, bringing together forest professionals from government, forest industry, and forestry consultants. With the establishment of a planning committee, National Forest Week celebrations on the North Island have expanded, and are now a collaborative effort between government, forest industry, forestry consultants, and First Nations.
In September 2009, as part of National Forest Week, the North Island NFP hosted a number of events geared towards promoting a greater recognition and appreciation of the role forests play in local North Island communities.
To advertise National Forest Week, a large forestry exhibition, collaboratively put together by government, local forest companies, and consultants, was displayed as part of the Mount Waddington Regional Fall Fair. The forestry exhibition, visited by hundreds of people, highlighted the role of local First Nations in forestry, and gave an overview of the planned National Forest Week activities.
During National Forest Week, local schools participated in a variety of events, including interactive forest tours, “Forest Fire” presentations (which included a visit from Smokey the Bear), and “Career in Forestry” presentations. In total, 14 elementary schools (including 11 public schools and 3 First Nation schools) and 2 secondary schools participated in National Forest Week activities. Home-schooled children were also invited and several participated.
The “Forest Fire” presentations, which utilized information and resources from the Learn Forestry forest education website (www.learnforestry.com), were geared towards Kindergarten to Grade 3 level students. The Kindergarten presentations were kept fairly simple, and included a few fire prevention tips from Smokey the Bear, and a reading of the story “Fire – The Renewal of a Forest!” The presentations to the Grade 1 – Grade 3 students were made quite interactive, and included an overview of fire’s role within our forests, the fire triangle, fire suppression tools and fire prevention tips. At the end of the presentations, students were handed a Smokey the Bear pencil, animal eraser, and entry forms for the ABCFP & CIF National Forest Week Art Contest from Smokey the Bear.
The forest tours, held over two days, included a stop at an active harvesting site, a hike along an interpretative trail, an opportunity to plant trees, and a salmon BBQ lunch. At the interpretive trail, a local First Nation guest speaker presented information on traditional forest resources, and for the BBQ lunch, the salmon was prepared by a local First Nation representative, who cooked the salmon in traditional style over an open fire. The BBQ lunch also included an interactive First Nation display, with baskets woven from cedar bark, masks and other hand- carved items, and a loggers' sports demonstration.
The “Careers in Forestry” presentations were made to Planning 10 students, and included an overview of the wide-variety of career options within the field of forestry, the role of the ABCFP, including its START program, and the steps students should take if they are interested in pursuing a career in forestry. Locally developed “Career in Forestry” brochures, along with brochures from the ABCFP were given out to the students.
Approximately 800 students benefited from the educational opportunities presented by the North Island NFP during National Forest Week, resulting in a significant amount of positive feedback from teachers, parents, and students, expressing their appreciation. Planning is already underway for National Forest Week 2010, and the North Island NFP looks forward to expanding upon its 2009 efforts.
100 Mile House 2009 National Forest Week Event
This year's NFW event in September took place at 99 Mile Ski Hill, organized by 100 Mile House Forest District staff from the Ministry of Forests and Range. Grade 4 students from 108 Mile House Elementary, Horse Lake Elementary, Lac La Hache Elementary, 100 Mile House Elementary and Buffalo Creek Elementary attended and were rotated through various stations, ranging from mapping, watersheds, compassing & Tree ID to photosynthesis, the life cycle of a forest and biodiversity. Manning the stations were forest professionals from MoFR, BC Timber Sales, West Fraser Mills and Montane Forest Consultants, as well as Thompson and Cariboo forest educators, Susan Bondar and Al Menduk. After a busy morning of activities, students received lodgepole pine seedlings, donated by Roserim Nursery.
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