What better way to learn about our forests than to be out in it, digging in the ground and planting trees?
For a week, that’s exactly what Rutland Senior Secondary (RSS) forestry students did in Joe Rich.
RSS forestry teacher Marshall Corbett said getting the students outdoors and allowing them to experience planting trees helps them gain a better appreciation for the forestry industry and nature as a whole.
“Being able to just get out in the woods, it’s a different way of learning,” he said.
“It provides them with different opportunities. We’ve had students that maybe didn’t fit the traditional school mould and do really well when they come out here and just really enjoy it.”
Corbett said the goal of the forestry program is to give students a snapshot of what jobs are available in the forestry industry. But mostly, he said he wants to instill an appreciation of the land around us in his students.
For Earth Day, April 22, a few RSS forestry forests wanted to encourage others to be more aware of their actions and be intentional about their relationship with nature.
Forestry student Carter Stewart said joining the program has helped him shift his perspective.
“I can definitely say I have a new level of respect for the forest after joining this class. Before, I didn’t care as much,” he said.
“I didn’t know how important it is to keep good care of our forests. I just want to say don’t throw your garbage on the ground, don’t go around messing up trees.”
His classmate Katie Weisbrod echoed his statement.
“It not only just affects the trees; if you break one tree, it can affect the whole forest. It’s really widened our view,” she said.
“Being out here so much, it really makes you think about everything that harms the trees and the ecosystem,” forestry student Matt Dickson added.
“You may not think much about throwing out a bag or something but it all adds up and it all makes a difference.”