Broadly speaking, agroecology is the application of ecological concepts and principles to agriculture. Agroecology as a system optimizes interactions between plants, animals, humans and the environment while safeguarding the social aspects of a sustainable and fair food system. It is believed that agroecology can deliver food security and ecosystem health, while still promoting economic stability. In saying this, agroecology is location and situation specific – there is not a “one size fits all” approach. Rather, it offers a set of principles to govern food and farming systems – approaches that can be locally-adapted and regionally applied.
With increasing pressure on ecosystems and biodiversity, the demand for sustainable farming practices has never been greater. Through this study guide students will be introduced to agroecology, its key principals and the benefits of agroecology.
How Much Wood?
Students will learn how to conduct a forest resource inventory and practice taking tree measurements in order to calculate the quantity and financial value of wood in a forested area.
Students will learn about forest certification programs and how they are administered.
Parts of Tree
Learn about the parts of a tree and their function with this handy factsheet.
Forest Growth & Carbon Capture
In this lesson, students will learn about the dynamic growth rate of a tree as it ages and the variable environmental factors that affect its growth.
Weird Wood Flashcards – Jr
Have you ever wondered where the man-made things around you come from? All of them had to come from somewhere! These fun flashcards cards can be printed and will help students learn where everyday wood products come from. They may even find the some surprising items are made with wood.
Students will explore how plant growth can be affected by soil and soil health.
Tree Planting Colouring Sheet
Learn about Ontario’s 50 Million Tree Program with this printable colouring sheet.
Old Trees, Old Tales – Sr
Students will learn about the history of Sherwood Forest and how its management differs from modern day forests. Students will also research the stories behind significant local trees.
Putting Down Roots
Students will learn about the diversity of native Ontario tree species as well as their specific habitat requirements. Students will apply their reading and deduction skills to determine which habitat is most suitable for each tree species.
2017: Sustainable Farming
Farmers not only play a critical role in providing us with food, but also act as stewards of the landscape and contribute to conservation efforts to protect and enhance our natural ecosystems. They play a vital role in maintaining and improving soil health, water and air quality, providing increased wildlife and pollinator habitat, sequestration of carbon, and conserving water and energy.
Voluntary efforts, provincial and federal government incentives, as well as information to farmers can improve the sustainability of their practices. This year’s Envirothon Current Issue Study Guide will focus on best management practices and programs farmers use to balance the environment with food production.
Choosing and Caring for your Christmas tree
This fact sheet gives you all the info you need when choosing and caring for you real, locally grown, Christmas tree!
Old Trees, Old Tales – Jr
Students will learn about the history of Sherwood Forest and discover the stories behind significant local trees.
Students will learn the importance of conducting an urban tree inventory and will undertake a simplified inventory to assess the health of a local forest.
Forest Career Chart
There are lots of careers in the forestry field – and this handy chart can help you figure out which one is right for you. Whether you love the outdoors, love technology, or want to work in a lab, there is a career waiting for you in forestry!
Tree Grab Bag
Learn about the different parts of trees with this sensory activity.
Rockin’ in the Real World: An Introduction to Aggregate Resources in Ontario
Aggregates play an important role in our daily lives. From the construction of roads and buildings, to cleaning sewage systems, aggregates are used in a variety of ways; however their extraction can pose serious environmental challenges. This resource will explore the role of aggregates in society, the extraction process and how the environmental impacts of their removal are mitigated.
Forest Nutrient Cycling
Students will be introduced to organic plant matter recycling in forest ecosystems. They will learn about the importance of dead material in forests and the role of decomposers .
Back In My Day…
Students will describe the differences between historical and current logging practices in Algonquin Park. This is an indoor activity.
Students will participate in a role-playing exercise to appreciate that forests provide a variety of benefits including economic, ecological, recreational and wildlife habitat values. This is an indoor activity.
Students will use a woodlot inventory as the context for learning about continuous one-variable data and standard deviation. This is an indoor activity.
Life As A Tree
Students will learn about the significance and function of tree rings, cambium and heartwood and later use this knowledge to create their own model of their “life as a tree” to share with classmates. This is an indoor activity.
Students will develop the observation and classification skills necessary to identify trees by developing tree identification keys. This is an indoor/outdoor activity.
Urban Forests and the Emerald Ash Borer
This lesson plan is an introduction to the benefits provided by urban forests and what makes an urban forest healthy. It explores issues of biodiversity and invasive species. Using the example of EAB, we will learn about the effect of invasive species on the urban forest and what we can do about it. This is an indoor/outdoor activity.
What lies beneath… your feet!
This fantastic resource is all you need to learn about soils – from how soils develop, the impacts of climate change and invasive species, to the way that soils are classified. Filled with activities and information – a great resource for Envirothon.
Winter Tree Key
This handy Ontario Envirothon resource introduces you to Winter Tree ID, great for preparing for the Forestry topic! The key uses identifying characteristics that can help you identify species in the winter, using buds.
Canadian Soil Classification
This handy Ontario Envirothon resource introduces you to the Canadian Soil Classification system, great for preparing for the Soils topic!
Bird Identification Guide
This handy Ontario Envirothon resource will introduce you to the variety of birds you can find in Ontario. There are many key identification features and characteristics that can help determine which bird species you are viewing. These include physical features, such as colour, size, beak shape and foot shape, as well as behavioural characteristics such as the location where the bird was spotted and the time of year.
Mammal Identification and Tracking Guide
This handy Ontario Envirothon resource introduces students to the various tracks, signs and scat of different mammal species in Ontario.
2016: Invasive Species
This Study Guide is to be used to help Envirothon teams prepare for the 2016 Envirothon Program.