Tour provides timber education
Forty teachers from throughout Florida attended the 2019 Florida Forestry Teachers Tour June 18-21.
The tour looked at the role Florida’s forest industry plays.
“The forest industry supports thousands of jobs and communities, not just here in Nassau, but across the state,” Florida Forest Service Jacksonville District Manager Jennifer Hart said. “We want educators to see that we all have a stake in the future of Florida forests. This tour allows us to showcase the forest management practices and efforts by not just private companies, but government organizations, landowners and individual tree farmers that are taken to ensure this renewable resource will be available for future generations.”
The teachers were taken to various stops across Northeast Florida to see firsthand the many different facets of forestry. In Clay County, teachers visited Jennings State Forest for a prescribed fire demonstration, a small tree farm and Camp Blanding to learn about conservation efforts.
In Duval County, teachers visited the West Fraser Saw Mill in Whitehouse to see how lumber is manufactured. The Symrise chemical company provided a presentation on how it utilizes papermaking byproducts to produce flavorings and scents for thousands of products.
In Alachua County, the teachers visited Austin Cary Memorial Forest and participated in several Project Learning Tree activities after learning about the different forestry career paths from the University of Florida School of Forest Resources and Conservation.
In Nassau County, teachers visited Rayonier Forest Resources for presentations on tree genetics, timber measurements and the timber harvesting operation. The papermaking process was detailed at the WestRock papermill and box plant in Fernandina Beach.
At each stop, tour hosts provided teachers with ample information to take back to the classroom, including brochures, lesson plan ideas and much more.
All meals and lodging were provided, and teachers earned 30 continuing education credits for their time. To participate in the 2020 Florida Forestry Teacher’s Tour or make a donation, visit http://floridaforest.org/programs/teachers-tour.