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Teachers learn lessons in coastal forestry

Harold Macy (centre, with dog) led a group of teachers through his Courtenay woodlot as part of a Festival of Forestry tour that provides professional development experiences for school teachers. - Photo submitted
Harold Macy (centre, with dog) led a group of teachers through his Courtenay woodlot as part of a Festival of Forestry tour that provides professional development experiences for school teachers.
— image credit: Photo submitted

Nineteen B.C. teachers were welcomed by Harold Macy (centre, with dog) at his Courtenay woodlot on the first stop in a ‘Festival of Forestry’ tour based in Campbell River.

Over three days, the teachers got a chance to learn about everything from managed forests to marmots. The BC Festival of Forestry is a non-profit organization committed to providing quality professional development experiences for school teachers.  These annual, complimentary tours take interested teachers to different resource-based communities in BC.  The tours provide an interactive learning experience to enhance teachers’ understanding of the complexities of sustainable forest management issues, and to share great ways to bring this information into their classes.

This year, local tour guides from BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Vancouver Island University, Western Forest Products, Interfor, Timberwest and Island Timberlands will introduce teachers to various forest ecosystems and active forest management areas between Campbell River and Sayward.  They will get to be “hands on” with some tools of the trade while they explore tree identification, wildlife habitat issues, water quality, soils and ecosystem management.

An added highlight will be discussion of the new Beaver Lodge Forest Activity Guide, which was recently released on the Greenways Trust website.

Discussions on recreation and landscape planning as well as hosted visits to the Campbell River Museum, Sylvan Vale Tree Nursery in Black Creek, the Parksville Fire Base and Coastland Manufacturing in Nanaimo are also in the lesson plan, which covers as many facets of forest management and forest products possible to connect the social and economic values we gain from the forest.

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