Viktoria’s FO Journal #2: Forestry Connects in York Region
Posted: November 28, 2016
by Viktoria Neuhaus
Last week I had the opportunity to be part of a special education event hosted by Forests Ontario. High school kids from
different schools were invited to join Forests Ontario for three different workshops at the York Regional Forest. They came to learn more about forestry like harvesting trees and seed collecting.
The day was separated into two parts. During the first part, the kids were actively involved in the different workshops. After this they got the opportunity to meet a forest worker to learn about harvesting and the care of forests.
While the kids arrived around 10 am, my three colleagues and I arrived an hour earlier to prepare the workshops. I was involved in the workshop about seed collecting. There were two other workshops, one workshop that gave the kids an idea how to orientate in a forest by using a compass. Another workshop was about forest management. The high school kids were divided in three groups with around 15 to 20 people each group. So every workshop took place three times.
To prepare the workshop I helped my colleagues to cut different seeds in half to give the kids examples of the different kind of seeds. We also prepared different experiments like the water floating test. This test should show if a seed has hollow space inside. If the seed floats it means that there is hollow space. This is an easy and fast method to see if a seed can be used for planting. The kids could do this test on their own and get a good insight in the work of a forester.
After the workshops and a break with pizza, we all went to a different part of the forest about 15 minutes away from the first spot. There, we had the chance to meet a forest worker. After we put on our safety helmets and vests, we followed him around the forest while he explained his work to us. We couldn’t get to close to the machines which harvested the trees because they were working deeper in the forest but we were able to hear them working and see trees falling down. Everyone, not only the high school kids, learned more about harvesting and the planting of trees in the forest.
The day was a great experience for me. I had the opportunity to get an insight of the different work of my colleagues outside of the office. Also I enjoyed spending the day outside. Working with high school kids was a new experience for me that was challenging in some parts. At the end of the day I can say that I learned a lot and I would like to join these kinds of events again at any time.
Viktoria is a student from Dusseldorf, Germany and an intern with Forests Ontario. Viktoria helps out with our education programs and events, building her English skills and growing her interest in the environment.