Lessons from the Forest
March 21, 2019
The focus of this year's International Day of Forest is Education. At JDI we are continuously learning from the forest with the help of great partners. Deer, moose, songbirds and wild Atlantic salmon are current studies that are teaching us more about these species and their habitat. Every year JDI is investing over $1million in on-the-ground science to ensure healthy forests for generations to come. The discoveries from this work with universities and environmental groups become part of our best practices in the woods. Every year, over 1500 hours of training is delivered to JDI's forestry team regarding habitat identification and conservation.
We also work to share hands-on learning experiences for young people through fully funded programs at the Irving Nature Park and La Dune de Bouctouche. Last year over 52,000 students participated!
Envirothon has been an annual tradition for JDI in the Maritimes for over 20 years. Envirothon is a hands-on environmental competition focused on a problem-solving presentation as well as written field tests. The competition tests students on five core subjects - aquatic ecology, forestry, soils, land use and wildlife. Kelly Honeyman, JDI's Chief Naturalist, has been involved with the Maritimes chapters of Envirothon since 1998. He began assisting the youth environmental program initially as a judge before becoming the wildlife chair, a position he's held for over two decades. What began as a work initiative, has now become a family activity. His kids have been to countless weekend wildlife workshops that he's been leading. While he's teaching the local youth students about the difference in songbird songs, his kids are volunteering to help with late-night owl surveys.
When Kelly's daughter, Madeline began her wildlife/forester technician program at Maritime College of Forest Technology, 3 years ago, it only seemed natural to have her help out at the latest Envirothon workshop.
"I learned a thing or two that day," says Honeyman. “As a member of JDI’s Fish and Wildlife team, I learned how to age waterfowl by their wing feathers. As her Dad, I sat proud, knowing she has developed a passion for the environment and teaching, just like me”.
Stay tuned for NB Envirothon on May 5 or 6, 2019 and NS Envirothon on [waiting on date] and PEI on [date]. The North American competition will be in Raleigh, North Carolina, July 28 - August 2, 2019!