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Thompson Highlights
Susan Bondar (Forest Educator)

I'm sure all the other Forest Educators will concur.. it has been a really busy spring! Now that the word is out regarding more forest educators covering the province's southern interior, both teachers and public have put in many requests. Isn't it great to be needed, wanted and requested?? I am really enjoying both the variety and the opportunities the Forest Educator position has given me. A big "Thank you!!" to Debbie Sluggett and Jeannie Steele for their vision a few years ago to expand the program to cover the Interior of BC, along with assistance from forest education coordinator, Debbie Bazett (COFI Southern Operations).

Spring 2006 National Forest Week Presentations

It was a pleasure to work on the 2006 National Forest Week Presentation with Debbie Bazett (COFI) and Kalon Nahachewsky (Okanagan/Columbia Forest Education). The topic chosen was 'forest types', titled "The Amazing Diversity of BC's Forests". The basis of the lesson was the Biogeoclimatic System, commonly used for British Columbia forest management. We developed the lesson around four forest types; dry, pine, wet and high elevation, designed an activity board to portray the four forests and a Forest Mystery Bag as part of the props and used the Biogeoclimatic map to enhance the lesson. All the visuals and hands-on materials proved to be great learning tools and assisted the presenters with the lesson. Once again, volunteer Forestry Personnel were trained and then presented several 40 minute lessons in local elementary schools. This year's National Forest Week lesson was well-received by teachers, students and presenters.

Susan Bondar, Thompson forest educator, presents to students inside the forest education van in the Thompson zone.

Forest Education Van Tours in the Thompson

A valuable forest resource for teachers and students is the Interior Logging Association's Forest Education Van. Welcome back to Geoff Smart, the summer student (now UBC Alumni), who shared the workload. The students really enjoy his goofy jokes, sense of humour and, most of all, his knowledge. We still have School District #74 (Gold Trail) to cover.

Students from Kamloops district schools are again taking part in tree planting activities at McQueen Lake this year.

I am always really impressed by the volunteers that assist with the forest ed van tours. We have had Forestry Personnel from Industry, Consultants, BCTS, MOF, Natural Resource Science Students, and the public (my mother), all of which are willing to give of their time. The volunteers get the 10-minute tour and lesson of the van, then share their knowledge, experiences and personalities with the students. We are so fortunate to have this wonderful resource!!

Some new experiences for me this year have been:

  1. participating in a Career Fair for Grade 10 Students for SD #73
  2. organizing a tour of Tolko's Heffley Plywood Plant for a Grade 6 class
  3. hosting training workshops for the Grade 5 Forestry Kit -'Our Living Resource: The Forest' and 'Train the Presenter' workshops for classroom presenters
  4. participating in the Environmental Mind Grind school competition
  5. attending the ForestEd West II Conference in Banff

Have a great summer!!

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