Grant – South Carolina Forestry Foundation – Woods Magicsfiprogram2020-07-31T08:14:58-04:00
SOUTH CAROLINA FORESTRY FOUNDATION
SFI Is Helping Inspire Future Forest Leaders in South Carolina
Wood Magic Forest Fair
Why this project matters
The Wood Magic Forest Fair is a free, fun, forestry-fact-filled field trip and festival for fourth-graders in South Carolina. Through SFI grant funding, the South Carolina Forestry Foundation will be able to revise its fourth-grade curriculum and program for fifth-graders to better align with the new South Carolina Department of Education Science Standards.
A series of four-hour programs at three locations around the state will offer forestry-related educational experiences and demonstrations. The fair combines hands-on activities with visually engaging presentations to teach children about the importance of forest lands to wildlife, the economy and our daily quality of life. The fair has a successful track record of engaging kids and helping them learn about the many environmental, social, and economic benefits provided by South Carolina’s forests.
Every year teachers administer a pre-fair test and a post-fair test. Highlights include:
Before the program, only 45% of the students understood that the U.S. has more forests today than it did 100 years ago, 75% knew this to be the case afterward.
After the fair, 95% of the students recognized that trees are a renewable natural resource.
Beforehand, only 31% of the students thought that using trees for the products we need is an environmentally friendly thing to do. After the fair, 77% recognized the environmental benefits of well-managed forests.
Why is SFI involved?
SFI values this project because it makes the link between forestry and South Carolina Department of Education Science Standards. It also increases their appreciation of South Carolina’s forests.
One of SFI’s priorities is to connect youth to forests through education. We look for ways to instill a lifelong appreciation for the value forests represent for biodiversity, the wider environment, sustainable communities, responsibly sourced forest products and for our shared quality of life. The educational focus of this project also supports SFI’s focus on encouraging the next generation of future forest leaders.
Our work with Boy Scouts of America, Girl Guides of Canada, Scouts Canada, and other youth organizations and school programs like Project Learning Tree and Earth Rangers, helps build healthy kids. It also engages youth in conservation activities and outdoor education.
Our kids’ contact with nature keeps shrinking. Today’s emphasis on screen time and indoor play is also linked to psychological and physical effects like obesity, loneliness, depression and attention problems. Getting kids into forests and helping them learn about sustainability is good for forests and good for kids.
How the project builds SFI community engagement
The Wood Magic Forest Fair brings together a diverse group of 58 organizations including SFI Program Participants, the South Carolina SFI Implementation Committee, conservationists, academics, community leaders, and state and federal government representatives.
Approximately 90 individual volunteers from the forestry community and other organizations came together in 2016 to make this forestry education program successful. Most importantly, the Wood Magic Fair has touched the lives of more than 31,500 fourth graders since its inception in 1999. Engaging kids is a proven strategy to change how families and the communities they live in perceive sustainability issues.
This partnership includes representatives from non-profit groups and SFI Program Participants. These partners include:
Project lead: South Carolina Forestry Foundation
Sustainable Forestry Initiative
South Carolina SFI Implementation Committee (consists of SFI Program Participants)
The private, non-profit South Carolina Forestry Foundation is a partnership of individuals and companies, including landowners, loggers, foresters, educators, researchers, conservationists, and sportsmen, dedicated to forest conservation and the sustainable use of natural resources.
Dear SFI Community,
I’d like to share an update from SFI on our strategies to ensure smooth operations as well as some adjustments we have made with regards to upcoming events in light of COVID-19. The following reflects our best efforts to keep our teams and our interactions with our community as safe and healthy as possible, and to provide you with some certainty with regards to upcoming events and dates.
REACHING SFI STAFF
SFI staff continue to be fully operational and able to support any needs or questions you may have about SFI programs. In order to ensure the health and safety of our team, all SFI employees are currently working remotely and we have the systems in place to allow us to be fully accessible by email, phone, and video call. You can find contact information for staff on our website or can send general inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
SFI AUDIT GUIDANCE
SFI has issued updated guidance regarding audit restrictions due to COVID-19. We recognize that other requirements related to implementing the SFI Standards, such as logger training, may be disrupted while travel and gatherings are restricted. SFI will issue further guidance as warranted. Questions about audits or standard requirements should be directed to Gregor Macintosh, SFI Senior Director of Standards, at Gregor.email@example.com.
SFI/PLT MEETINGS AND WORKSHOPS
In order to prioritize the health and safety of our community and prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, SFI is canceling all scheduled in-person meetings and workshops through June, with alternative virtual arrangements being developed, as follows:
PROJECT LEARNING TREE CANADA GREEN JOBS SUMMIT
The planned March 23-24 Summit has been redesigned as an e-summit on March 23, bringing youth together from across Canada to discuss green career pathways.
CONSERVATION IMPACT SOUNDING BOARD WORKSHOP
The planned May 20-21 workshop will be redesigned as a webinar on May 20 focused on the intersection of Conservation Impact research and the developing 2022 SFI Standards, with a particular focus on carbon and climate change.
PROJECT LEARNING TREE COORDINATORS’ CONFERENCE
The planned June 8-12 conference in Bremerton, WA, has been postponed until 2021 at the same location. In lieu of the 2020 conference, plans are underway to host a one-day virtual event on June 10 or 11 offering professional development and networking to the PLT Coordinators and partners.
STANDARD REVISION WORKSHOPS
These May/June workshops were designed as regional opportunities to comment on proposed revisions and enhancements to the SFI Standards. SFI still plans to release the next draft Standards by May 1 and conduct a 60-day comment period through the end of June. Instead of the in-person workshops, we will conduct dedicated webinars focused on specific themes and requirements in the Standards, as follows:
Logger Training and Education
Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation
Conservation of Biological Diversity
Chain of Custody, SFI Labels and Claims, and Controversial Sources
SFI IMPLEMENTATION COMMITTEE REGIONAL MEETINGS
These May/June meetings were planned to coincide with the Standard Revision Workshops and were designed to provide opportunities for SIC members to engage on bi-national SFI priorities and share best practices across committees. These will instead be conducted as regional webinars, with dates coming soon.
Join SFI’s E-Summit, Growing Solutions, to share ideas about how sustainably managed forests, and products sourced from those forests, are great tools in moving towards shared sustainability goals.
This year, SFI is hosting a one-day E-Summit on October 22 to bring our network together to engage around the work SFI is doing across its 4 pillars to achieve our mission of advancing sustainability through forest-focused collaborations.
We appreciate your continued support of SFI and look forward to connecting with you through one of these many opportunities.