A whole school teaching faculty take to the forest
12 February 2018
A recent ForestLearning day, facilitated and funded by the Leschenault Timber Industry Club, gave all teachers Prep-year 6 from Cooinda Primary School in Bunbury WA, the opportunity to connect with the forest and associated supply chains as a context for learning, and understand timber’s important role in a sustainable economy.
About the day
Forty-seven teachers were exposed to the many and various components of the forest and timber industry from plantation to mill and port and discovered more ways to use these sites, underpinning science, technology and processes as a context for learning across the Australian Curriculum.
Teachers were taken to FPC Pine Plantation where they observed a first thinning of the forest to allow for greater growth of remaining trees. The operations manager outlined his career pathway entering the forestry industry through a traineeship.
Next teachers visited the Wellington Discovery Forest, a research forest owned by State Government Department Parks, Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions. Here they learnt about the principles and application of Jarrah silviculture, harvesting, sustainability, forest health, water and catchments. A brief talk from Dr Lachlan McCaw, Chief Fire Scientist with the Parks and Wildlife Service, outlined animal and fauna preferences in different stages of a working forest post-harvest and post a bush fire.
Teachers were then given a tour and demonstration of Wespine Sawmill and heard more about the sustainability of timber as a building resource through the regrowing of pine trees after a harvest. The commercial aspects of forestry and uses of timber were outlined by Greg Meachem, a Timber Insight consultant with the FWPA WoodSolutions team as well as being a Leschenault Timber Club member. Greg outlined the process, uses and benefits around engineered wood products, carbon balance, the lower embodied energy of timber versus other building materials, the asthetics of timber and the benefits timber has towards human well being.
The last port of call was in the Port of Bunbury where Ian Telfer, CEO WA Plantation resources shared about biomass and avoided emissions from coal by using woodchips, the waste products from forest operations and fire damaged forest salvage. Ian works as a blue gum and handling agent for pine wood exports.
Feedback from teachers was tree-mendous with many experiencing their first exposure to the sustainable forest and wood industry.
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