New program gets teens out of the city and into learning about sustainable forestry.
Most of the world’s populations are concentrated in urban areas. That means the rural world – where forestry happens – can be a bit of a mystery for many of us. Forestry Connects is a new program looking to change that. And since its start, two years ago, over 100 students and educators from southern Ontario have visited the managed forests of Algonquin Park.
And they are soaking up information on how forests are managed sustainably and how forest products are an important part of our daily lives.
Organized by Forests Ontario, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting sustainable forest management through advocacy and education, the initiative is featured in a short video entitled “Connecting to our Forests”, that made its official debut at Forests Ontario’s annual conference on February 20th, 2015 to a crowd of nearly 300 forestry practitioners, students, and industry and government stakeholders.
This type of program is important as people are increasingly disconnected from the rural areas and how wood harvesting occurs. This distance, combined with activist campaigns that spread misinformation, make it difficult to understand the sustainability of forest management in the boreal forest.
By interacting with employees and stakeholders, including First Nations, biologists and other local community members, students in the program learn a perspective that comes from the front lines of forestry, from decades of experience and on-the-ground understanding.
There’s a deep connection between humans and forests that many urban populations tend to forget. Watch the video to see how these students react to making that connection for the first time.