VicForests invites students to experience Victoria’s native forests
VicForests has been out and about hosting a number of school field trips during recent months, providing insights to students about its important work, and what sustainable native forest management looks like.
Around 110 students in Years 10 to 12 from Mansfield College, Cornish College, Heathdale, Caulfield Grammar and Yarra Ranges Tech, plus 12 of their teachers, participated in the field trips hosted at VicForest sites in Manfield, Toolangi and Powelltown.
Established in 2004, VicForests is a state-owned business that manages the harvest, sale and regrowth of sustainable timber from Victorian state forests on behalf of the government. The VicForests team includes forest scientists, ecologists, policy and compliance officers, and research and modelling analysts.
The school field trips included opportunities for students to walk through the forests, where they got to see trees at different growth stages, as well as coupes (areas of recently felled trees). They also visited processing facilities such as sawmills, where they discovered how wood products are made and saw the manufacturing process in action.
During the trips, students were given insights directly from team members on the important work of VicForests, and how it collaborates with the Victorian Government to ensure the sustainable management and harvesting of the native forests under its care, as well as the measures taken to protect biodiversity.
“These trips have provided opportunities for our people to talk through the VicForests planning processes, the ways in which we protect our native forests, the special values that occur within them, and how our timber is used," said Liz Langford, Regional Engagement Manager at VicForests.
“There were lots of great questions from the participating students, and all-in-all these trips offered a great hands-on learning experience!” said Langford.
In a thank you card sent after their field trip, students and teachers from Cornish College said: “Thank you for your generosity and expertise. We thoroughly enjoyed our field work experience at Powelltown.”
"Some of the participating students had never had the opportunity to visit a forest before, so it was great to offer them a chance to experience these environments, while learning about the day-to-day of our foresters,” said Kim Barned Stakeholder Relations Specialist at VicForests, who led several of the field trips.
“These tours are therefore important for allowing students and teachers to hear the story of forestry, from passionate industry professionals.
“Participating students get to see first-hand how forestry works, enabling them to form their own views and make educated decisions when it comes to forestry and wood products,” said Barned.
The visiting students and teachers were so impressed by the experiences that all schools involved have now incorporated these field trips as part of their curriculums. If you would like to organise a field trip with VicForests for your students, please email them here.