BC Interior Forest Education News
Southern Interior Forest Education
Forest Educator, Council of Forest Industries
ILA Forest Education Van Spring Events
From April to June, the Interior Logging Association's forest education van was a popular attraction at Kelowna's Family Environment Day, Mayor's Environmental Expo and Family Fun Day events, hosted by the ILA and assisted by the Council of Forest Industries, Southern Interior Forest Education. Seedlings were distributed and were happily taken home by families to plant, courtesy of Tolko Industries and Gorman Bros. Lumber. The van was also on display at the ABCFP's AGM in Kelowna earlier in the spring.
This year, the Interior Logging Association planned to once again hire a post-secondary forestry student for the forest education van to tour camps, parks and various community events throughout the Interior during the spring and summer. However, a lack of available funding cancelled these plans and it is hoped that next year will see a return of this valuable ambassador for BC's Interior communities and our forest industry.
Susan Bondar, Forest Educator
New Climate Change Lesson Available
Thompson Forest Educator, Susan Bondar, recently developed a new school presentation on Climate Change, delivered by 25 forestry personnel to 2420 elementary teachers and students in the communities of Kamloops, Chase, Clearwater and Merritt early in June. These presentations were a huge success and received great feedback from presenters and teachers.
COFI South Forest Education provided assistance, in addition to preparing the teacher resources and handouts for the presentation. The Climate Change lesson is in power point format and along with the teacher resources will soon be available on the Learn Forestry website. (www.learnforestry.com )
"Talk About Trees" – Educator Climate Change & Forest Lessons
For additional forest education lesson materials on climate change, check out The Forest Foundation, "Talk about Trees", Lesson #9 on "Forest Carbon and our Climate". Other topics include Forest Health, Sustainable Resources, Waste Not- Want Not, Nature's Treasure Chest and Forest Watersheds and include lessons, vocabulary and student activity pages and graphics. www.talkabouttrees.org/plans.html
Earth Day Tree Planting Projects
Thompson Educator, Susan Bondar was involved with
organizing two tree planting projects that took place in the Thompson region in April to celebrate Earth Day. The first was held at the BC Wildlife Park in Kamloops with two classes of Gr. 5 students, parents, teachers and a group of eight Rotarians. The students were given a healthy snack that honoured the 100 mile diet and new water bottles both donated by Rotary. The Wildlife Park supplied the entrance fee and a great lunch for the students.
Another planting project took place at Shuswap Lake Provincial Park (Scotch Creek Campground) with two grade 7 classes of close to 60 students from Haldane Elementary in Chase. At the park, students planted about 500 seedlings of fir, spruce and lodge pole pine.
Central Okanagan Hosts Environmental Mind Grind Competition
To commemorate Earth Day in late April, fourteen elementary and ten middle school teams from the Central Okanagan took part in the annual local Environmental Mind Grind competition to demonstrate their awareness of a broad range of environmental topics. This contest helps students to learn about local issues affecting the environment and encourages them, along with their families, to live more sustainably.
After weeks of studying an array of information packages on various topics such as water, waste, species and spaces, energy conservation, forests and climate change, teams gathered at Orchard Park Mall to compete in a quiz show competition to determine the winning Elementary and Middle school teams. Similar EMG events were also held the same weekend in Vernon, Penticton, Kamloops and Nanaimo.
Local Central Okanagan elementary team winners were Glenmore Elementary and Rutland Elementary, while middle school teams from Ecole KLO and Dr. Knox came out on top. Winning teams advanced to the BC Championships held in May in Kelowna.
The Council of Forest Industries, Southern Operations (Forest Education) was one of the supporting partners in this event.
Kelowna Teams Win at Mind Grind BC Championships
Nine teams were rewarded for their environmental smarts at the 10th annual Terasen Gas Environmental Mind Grind B.C. Championships held on May 7. A total of twelve high school, six middle school and ten elementary school teams from Kamloops, Nanaimo, the Shuswap and the North, Central and South Okanagan faced off at the Creekside Community Theater in Lake Country to test their knowledge about all things green.
With hundreds of parents, friends and fellow students cheering them on, Frank J. Ney Elementary of Nanaimo won the hotly-contested Elementary School Division and $1,000 for their school. Wiltse Elementary School, from Penticton, placed second. Ecole KLO from Kelowna won the coveted first place in the Middle School category. Dr. Knox Middle School, also from Kelowna, placed second after playing several tightly-contested games.
The "Most Sportsmanlike" $100 prize was awarded to Hillcrest Elem. from Salmon Arm in the elementary category and to Bert Edward Science & Technology School from Kamloops in the middle school category.
Competition was fierce in the high school category, as teams competed for $1,000 bursaries per team member, courtesy of Terasen Gas. Okanagan Mission (OKM) Secondary School in Kelowna took home first prize. Kelowna Secondary School placed second, with each team member winning a $300 bursary. Chase Secondary won for the Most Sportsmanlike team.
"We like participating in the Environmental Mind Grind because it brings awareness of environmental issues in a fun way," says OKM winning team member Erin Saunders.
Partners in Environmental Education organizing this year's Terasen Gas Environmental Mind Grind Challenge included the City of Kelowna, Regional Waste Reduction Office, Regional Parks and Recreation Services, the Council of Forest Industries and Water Smart. Proud sponsors of this year's challenge include Terasen Gas, OK Environmental Waste, FortisBC, and the Okanagan Basin Water Board.
New Wildfire Exhibit at Central Okanagan Interpretive Center
The Environmental Education Center of the Okanagan (EECO Center) currently has a new exhibit on display at Mission Creek Park in Kelowna. Titled, "In the Line of Fire", it focuses on the effects of wildfire with an interactive display to educate visitors about topics such as protecting our forests from human-caused fires, the benefits of fire to the forest ecosystem and how foresters use fire to control fuel load in interface areas and elsewhere. The display is free of charge and continues through the summer.
College of the Rockies Yes 2 IT Targets Trades Awareness in Career Event
On May 11 and 12, ninety Grade 9 students representing ten different schools from Golden to Creston to Elkford, converged on the College of the Rockies in Cranbrook to participate in a project called YES 2 IT (Youth Exploring Skills to Industry Training), with half of the students taking part on May 11th and the other half on May 12th.
According to Yes 2 IT Project Coordinator Brian Conrad, the project was “designed to increase awareness of skilled trades among younger students as well as their parents, educators, and communities. It provided an excellent opportunity for these students to enjoy a hands-on experience in a trades-focused environment and to learn that apprenticeship in the trades is a sound career choice option.”
Four trades were highlighted – Electrical, Welding, Carpentry and Heavy Duty/ Auto Service Mechanics. There, the students engaged in hands-on projects under the supervision of College instructors and student apprentices. The day ended with a skills competition with prizes and a barbeque at the College. Completed projects were taken home by the students.
“Parents were encouraged to attend with their children,” Conrad added. “It was a great opportunity for them to learn more about apprenticeship and industry training in BC.”
Yes 2 IT was sponsored by the BC Industry Training Authority, the Resources Training Organization, all three East Kootenay school districts, RONA, Teck Coal Limited, and Worksafe BC.
For more information about this event, contact Brian Conrad at: 250-489-2751 (ext. 3380)or e-mail [email protected]
< Back to Index Northern Interior Forest Education >