Forests Ontario

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Forests Ontario’s oldest education program expands once again with the first ever London Tree Bee

London, ON, June 5th, 2015 – Over the past two days, London Students came together at the TVDSB Education Centre to take part in the first ever London Tree Bee, a competition in which students test their knowledge of Ontario’s forests. 450 students participated in the competition, making it the biggest Tree Bee competition in the program’s history. Students took part in the competition during the morning and spent the evening planting trees in their community with the Upper Thames Conservation Authority.

Over the last year, Tree Bee has grown to new communities and engaged more students than ever. The London Tree Bee took place only a few months after the first York Region Tree Bee was held at Newmarket High School in February.

Tree Bee began in 1952 as a program of the Ontario Forestry Association (OFA) introducing students in grades 4-6 to Ontario’s forests. Through Tree Bee, teachers access resources for their classrooms that guide students in identifying Ontario’s native trees through features such as leaves, bark, seeds, and buds. Resources also introduce students to facts about our forests and their role in a healthy environment.

The program culminates in a competition where students test their knowledge of Ontario’s trees and forests. Competitions feature two rounds of questioning on tree identification and forestry knowledge as well as workshops from forestry professionals.

Throughout its history, Tree Bee competitions took place solely within the Greater Toronto Area, with around 100 students participating each year. Forests Ontario has now developed resources and tools for schools and communities beyond the GTA to organize their own Tree Bee competitions and bring forestry into the classroom.

The London Tree Bee was organized using the Tree Bee Teacher’s Guide, which outlines the learning objectives of the program, links between Tree Bee learning resources and the Ontario curriculum, and provides a step by step guide to using resources and organizing a competition within their school or community. Forests Ontario developed these resources with support from York Region, the Cambridge-North Dumfries Community Foundation, and Toronto Field Naturalists. This guide, along with official Tree Bee learning resources, is available on Forests Ontario’s Focus on Forests website, which offers in-class forestry learning resources for the K-12 range.

Engaging students at an early age in learning about the beauty and diversity of our forests is vital to instilling a passion for our natural environment. The expansion of Tree Bee makes it possible for teachers in Ontario to introduce forestry into their classrooms in a way that is fun, engaging, and rewarding.

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About Tree Bee

Tree Bee is Forests Ontario’s oldest education programs, providing a fun and engaging way for teachers to introduce students in grades 4-6 to the beauty, diversity, and importance of Ontario’s forests. Through Tree Bee, teachers are able to access learning resources including fact sheets, quizzes, and lesson plans to help students learn to identify Ontario’s trees and learn about the importance of our forests.

Tree Bee culminates in a competition in Toronto each year, bringing together different classrooms for a fun and friendly competition in which students test their forestry knowledge and skills in tree identification.

Forests Ontario can also provide resources for starting Tree Bee competitions within schools and communities beyond the Greater Toronto Area.

For more information, or to schedule interviews, please contact:

 

Shelley McKay

Director of Communications & Development

Forests Ontario

416.646.1193 ext. 232

Cell: 416.619.0783

smckay@forestsontario.ca