Students in Carihi’s forestry class have a new mode of transportation to take them to and from forestry sites thanks to the Campbell River Forest Education Association.

Carihi forestry class gets new wheels

The Carihi Forestry class now has transportation to get in and out of the woods

The Carihi Forestry class now has transportation to get in and out of the woods thanks to the Campbell River Forest Education Association.

The Forest Education Association purchased the 24 passenger bus through a donation by the Truck Loggers Association. Logo space on the bus was offered to local companies and associations connected to forestry through a sponsorship donation.

As many as 20 different groups contributed, showing their support for forest education: Truck Loggers Association, Blue Thunder Contracting, Interfor, Western Forest Products, Strategic, Holbrook Dyson Logging, TimberWest, Probyn, Boyley Auto Body, Finning, Carmac Diesel, the Association of BC Forest Professionals, Capacity Forest Management, Bailey Western Star, Dyer Logging, Wahkash Contracting, MNP Accounting, Campbell River Auto Center, and Newcastle Timber.

The bus will help transport students to and from forestry, which is paramount to the operation of a sustainable forestry education program.

The Campbell River Forestry Education Association was formed in 2014 to support such forestry education initiatives, and in particular, the Carihi Forestry Education Program run by teacher Jason Kerluck.

The Carihi program is one of two high school forestry programs on Vancouver Island, with only three others in the province.

Developed three years ago, the program is building momentum in numerous ways.

“We have continuously been obtaining much needed field gear (new and used) through many generous donations,” Kerluck says. “People involved in forestry at all different capacities have been offering to contribute to the program in any way they can. We have had people speak to the class about their experiences and current occupation in forestry. Companies have organized tours for us, money and equipment has been donated, and others have been involved in developing teaching units. The support has been overwhelming, and very motivating. It is nice to know that you are not only contributing to student learning through a different program experience in high school, but also to help educate the public about forestry in B.C. Students learn about the many misconceptions associated with forest practices on the coast, while learning how to identify different trees and plants they see every day.”

This program educates students on B.C.’s forest sector, while providing an alternative learning environment, and builds employable skills to graduating students.

“This program is not specifically for students set on a career in forestry,” says Kerluck.  “Generally, students who enrol in this course are either looking forward to a hands-on, project based learning approach and field trips. Others look to the program as an interesting alternative to the regular science stream, and some look towards getting a head start into a potential career in forestry.”

Students who enrol in this program learn about their natural surroundings through tree and plant identification. Other learning outcomes include orienteering and mapping skills, wilderness safety, sampling skills/methods, silviculture (regeneration methods), and harvesting methods (past and present). There are numerous field trips associated with this class, including visits to PRT nursery, TimberWest harvesting blocks and dryland sort, planting trees with Western Forest Products, the Museum at Campbell River, T-Mar, the Beaver Lodge Lands, Strathcona Park Lodge, and Holbrook Dyson Logging work site, among others.

The Carihi Forestry Education Program is offered to students in Grade 10-12 for credits towards graduation.

As this semester winds down, the Carihi class will be hosting Forestry Career Day on Jan. 20 in the multipurpose room (beside the gym) at Carihi.

This will be offered to all students at Carihi and will be open to the public from 3 to 4 p.m. Anyone interested in helping out on Forestry Career Day, or assisting the program, can contact Kerluck at Jason.kerluck@sd72.bc.ca