SNHS students explore boreal forest at Cedar Bay
Jesse Bonello - Staff Writer
Approximately 50 grade nine students from Sioux North High School (SNHS) put down their textbooks for an afternoon and explored their local forest during a tree walk at Cedar Bay on Oct. 25.
As part of their geography class, the students were divided into groups and cycled through different stations, which were put on by Friends of Cedar Bay volunteers, where they were introduced to the boreal forest of Canada while also touching on photosynthesis, carbon fixation, root and fungal associations, and identifying different trees found in the boreal forest.
Nicole Carbone, grade nine geography teacher at SNHS, said the tree walk flowed really well with the geography course curriculum.
“It all fits with what we’re working on. It’s an introduction to the boreal forest. Tree identification is something I really wanted the kids to take away while also moving in to landform regions, ecosystems, and habitats. It’s all going to jive as the course develops. It’s a great way for them to live and see geography without using a textbook,” said Carbone.
Students said they enjoyed having a break from the typical classroom environment to explore and learn about nature.
“Coming here to Cedar Bay has been fun. It’s a nice break from being inside a classroom all the time,” said Kyle Tait, grade nine SNHS student.
“It was cool learning about the different types of trees. We also learned about the different types of frogs and mushrooms that are in the boreal forest,” said Nathan Jacko, grade nine SNHS student.
After seeing the Friends of Cedar Bay host a tree walk in August, Carbone asked the Friends of Cedar Bay if they’d be willing to host another tree walk for students.
“It just started out with a question because I saw Aileen (Urquhart) put on this workshop in the summertime, so I asked her if she’d be willing to put it on again. Cedar Bay is just a six minute bus ride, and it’s pretty incredible for what we have access to. I had no idea that the volunteer group here was willing to put this all together,” said Carbone.
“That’s the beauty of having a facility like Cedar Bay that’s so close to everything. People are very close to nature, they're close to the wilderness, and they don’t have to drive far. We have a beautiful nature’s workshop here,” said Joyce Timpson, Chair of Friends of Cedar Bay.
“Cedar Bay is an excellent outdoor education facility and it could be developed into something really spectacular. Right now it’s a group of volunteers that are doing this kind of thing, and there’s certainly tremendous potential there for outdoor education,”