Special to The Morning Star
The Charles Bloom forestry program is a one-semester program that has students learning about planning, harvesting and sustaining a woodlot. The school has its own woodlot (Woodlot 1908) that the students work on three days per week for the semester.
Students learn and practise chainsaw operation and maintenance, heavy duty equipment operation, and the processes required to take a fallen tree from the woodlot to the mill.
This past school year we were given a grant to create, build and install two information kiosks for our woodlot. Working with our forestry teacher, students created and developed the plans for the kiosks. Structural considerations regarding the placement of the kiosks and withstanding the outdoor elements were all taken into consideration.
After the designs were created, the students, working with the forestry teacher and our professional logger who works in the program, selected wood from our school woodlot that could be used in building the kiosks. On shop days, students prepared the wood, purchased appropriate materials, and constructed the information kiosks. To construct the kiosks, students learned and utilized project planning skills, designed and built roof trusses, designed and built a tin roof, site selection and preparation skills, and selected and processed wood from the woodlot
The woodlot is to be used as an outdoor classroom for Charles Bloom secondary. As a result, the forestry students cleared a trail from the road up into the woodlot that could be used by classes for hiking, snow shoeing, tree identification or other learning experiences associated with the woodlot.
In order for users to have a map of the trail, students used a GPS to map the trail and overlay this on a map of the woodlot. These maps have been installed on the kiosks, with one of the kiosks being at the trail head by the road.
To further support our outdoor classroom, an education/information poster was created for the kiosk. This poster identifies tree species, provides information about the trail and woodlot, items to be aware of, and acknowledges the WPDC and FBCWA for the funding support of the kiosks.
Once completed, the students and teacher determined the placement of the kiosks, dug the holes, and installed the kiosks.
The hands-on learning that students experience in the Charles Bloom Secondary forestry program is second to none. Students are prepared to work in a safe manner in a variety of sectors (forestry, oil and gas, construction, agriculture) and the added experience of the design, create-and-build kiosk project enhanced the learning in the forestry program.
Thanks to the funding support from the Woodlot Product Development Council and the Federation of British Columbia Woodlot Association for these kiosks, forestry students learned valuable skills that they can apply in the future and our outdoor classroom has been enhanced for other students, classes and community members to utilize and enjoy.
– Bryan Out is principal at Charles Bloom secondary school in Lumby.