Forests, fish and fifth graders

Over 350 Port Alberni students take over McLean Mill for National Forest Week.

Errington Initial Attack firefighter Luke Bauma helps Brianna Kailer

More than 350 Grade 5 students from the Alberni Valley took in all the forest had to offer at McLean Mill on Sept. 25.

The kids were there as part of National Forest Week.

“It’s all about getting the younger students engaged and understanding a little bit more about the forest industry and forest management,” said Tracy Andrews, a Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource resource officer for the Port Alberni office.

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“We’re trying to spark an interest in forestry as a career so they can make choices as they move through school.”

According to the Canadian Institute of Forestry, National Forest Week was established in 1920 as Forest Fire Prevention Week in hopes of encouraging “greater public awareness towards Canada’s forests.”

Port Alberni students at McLean Mill learned about everything from steam logging, to salmon life cycles and riparian zones with West Coast Aquatic’s Sheena Falconer to fire management with firefighters from the B.C. Wildfire Service.

“We learned about what types of trees there are and we learned about aquatic invertebrates,” said Caiden Meyer, 12.

“We learned about how firefighters use their hoses.”

Meyer’s favourite part?

“Trying to catch all the fish!”

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

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