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Forest Programme Benefits Canty School Children

12 August 2004

Forest Programme Benefits Canterbury School Children

Pupils of Fairlie Primary School are the first in Canterbury to benefit from a forest and environmental education programme established by Christchurch-based forestry company Blakely Pacific (NZ) Limited.

Two years ago, Blakely Pacific began a forest and environmental education programme for schools in the North Otago region. The initiative, which mirrors one run by Blakely Pacific’s parent company, Port Blakely Tree Farms, who are located in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, will move one step further next week when Year 5 and 6 from Fairlie Primary School will put their newly found knowledge into practice at a special forest planting in the company-owned Raincliff Forest.

Up until now, Blakely Pacific’s Environmental Educator Jane Carrodus who works from the company’s Timaru office, has delivered her practical lectures in a classroom and forestry situation. “Next Tuesday, pupils from Fairlie Primary School will be taken by bus to the Raincliff Forest and after a forest walk and general educational discussion on forestry, will participate in a special planting,” said Miss Carrodus. “Although children have visited the forest on previous occasions, the planting on Tuesday is the first of its kind to be done by the children.”

The new planting, to be known as the Raincliff Forest Establishment Project, will utilise Douglas Fir and Redwood. The planting is in keeping with the special nature of the Raincliff Forest which is planted in the arboretum manner.

“The educational programme covers several facets including practical sections where pupils complete work sheets using project material drawn from the forest and trees. It is designed to teach children about the value of this sustainable crop,” said Miss Carrodus. “The Fairlie Primary School pupils and staff have been very receptive to the programme and are looking forward to the planting next week.

Blakely Pacific’s Managing Director Michael Buchanan said that the company was very pleased that the programme has been well received. “Other schools in the region will also be given the opportunity to participate and this first planting signals the continuation of upgrading Raincliff Forest without destroying its unique characteristics.”

The planting will take place at 1.00pm on Tuesday August 17 at Raincliff Forest.


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