SDSS Forestry Fun and Funding

September 29, 2015


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Ontario Power Generation's (OPG DGR) Community Partnership Program donates to SDSS program
Keith Day (Horticulture Teacher), Owen MacKenzie,Keelan Fischer, Shaylene Bonnett, Heather Lyness, Garnet Reid (OPG), Melissa McEwen (Principal) 

Ontario Power Generation's (OPG in support of DGR) Community Partnership Program recently donated $3,000 to the Saugeen Greenhouse Horticulture Program at Saugeen District Secondary School (SDSS).

The horticulture course that is offered at SDSS under the leadership of teacher Keith Day, covers all aspects of plant life; from small house plants to large trees and is self-supporting through a public spring Greenhouse sale of plants.

The students in the class had the opportunity to learn about the forestry industry, along with proper preservation of precious wooded areas, during a spring field trip where they had the opportunity to experience hands-on learning about forestry with the guidance of an industry professional.

The students were fortunate enough to be able to visit two separate sites in the Grey County area. The group was lead by, Jesse Henrich, a Registered Professional Forester with Lands & Forests Consulting.  Henrich is heavily involved with the harvest and management of a variety of woodland properties. With his expertise and enthusiasm, he was able to pass on an immeasurable amount of his valuable knowledge.

At their first stop just outside of Hepworth, students were able to try some of the practices that are used by foresters.

They worked together to complete an inventory on a bush lot so that a management plan could be produced. Henrich then had the students look for trees that were diseased that would be cut down to give space for new growth.

Using the prism to size trees

To determine what trees would be used for proper harvest the students were taught to use the prism. A prism is a tool used regularly in the industry; when standing at a certain distance the viewer determines if a specific tree is “in” or “out” of that prism’s range. Any tree that is determined to be “in” is then measured using a caliper. Deciding what trees are going to be cut and what trees are going to be left is a difficult task.

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This is where Henrich's knowledge is so valuable when the mission of his company when marking trees is to properly manage the forest so that it will be prosperous for many years to come. According to Henrich, "If managed properly an owner can harvest a bush lot once every 15-20 years which can be a valuable resource for any property owner. "

The last stop of the day was at the West Rocks in Grey County. This rocky terrain has multiple paths through the bush. The group followed one of the loops and took their time as they stopped along the way to listen to Henrich identify various trees. This section of their journey was more focused on the identification of trees and even some of the common diseases specific trees can experience.

Henrich further explained to the class the work that his company does and how they do it differently from most loggers.

Lands & Forests Consulting manages forests sustainably and marks woodlots to ensure that their overall health and quality increases going into the future. Lands & Forests Consulting’s focus is to ensure that the forests of Southern Ontario are managed under good forestry practices by a knowledgeable Registered Professional Forester.

The chance to travel through wooded lots with Henrich and take in his knowledge was an amazing opportunity. It opened eyes to the world of forestry and encouraged interested students to get involved. There are plenty of possibilities in the forestry industry. Ray Harrison, a student in Grade twelve reported, "It was a great trip, we learned a lot from Mr. Henrich, I would recommend this opportunity to anyone who likes horticulture, or simply just being outside."

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015