Grant – South Carolina SFI Implementation Committeesfiprogram2020-07-31T08:17:38-04:00
SOUTH CAROLINA SFI IMPLEMENTATION COMMITTEE
South Carolina Forest Products Sector: Connecting Teachers and Foresters
Connecting SC Classrooms and Forests through the Sustainable Forestry Teacher’s Tour
Why This Project Matters
Using real-world examples of forest sustainability, the Sustainable Forestry Teacher’s Tour will enhance the positive perception of forestry in South Carolina. It will provide an advanced weekend workshop to teachers, train landowners to deliver Project Learning Tree (PLT) activities during tours of their property and connect teachers and landowners for ongoing programs on sustainable forestry. PLT, an SFI program, is an award-winning environmental education program designed for teachers and other educators, parents, and community leaders working with youth from preschool through grade 12.
Ultimately, the project will give educators the tools to engage students about the importance of sustainable forest management. The South Carolina SFI Implementation Committee (SIC) has a successful track record of reaching out to youth and helping them learn about the many environmental, social, and economic benefits provided by South Carolina’s forests.
Why is SFI Involved?
The South Carolina SFI SIC is the lead sponsor of the Sustainable Forestry Teacher’s Tour. As the lead organization, the South Carolina SIC will work closely with the Teacher’s Tour Steering Committee to include relevant SFI content and information. Tour topics will include methods of evaluating sustainability and biodiversity in managed forests and related data collection, the non-timber benefits of forests and management of timber species other than pine.
The primary goal of the teacher’s tour has always been for participants to recognize the importance of sustainable forestry practices, and to view these as environmentally sound. The second is for teachers to incorporate a positive view of forestry in their classrooms. The advanced course will provide valuable information and resources for teachers to share with their students and build on the PLT curriculum they were introduced to on the teacher’s tour. The advanced workshop will instruct teacher’s tour graduates in more depth about forest sustainability and biodiversity, the non-timber benefits of forest management, and hardwood ecosystems.
The 16,000 acre Hobcaw Barony was selected for the workshop because the property is a certified South Carolina Tree Farm, where forest management is conducted to enhance biodiversity and restoration and enhancement of the longleaf pine ecosystem. It also contains colonies of the federally endangered red‑cockaded woodpecker, and bottomland hardwoods. Encouraging South Carolina Tree Farmers to become PLT trained will provide them with skills to use in their role as non-formal educators when classes visit their property.
How the project builds SFI community engagement
This project will serve as an example to other SFI Implementation Committees and state PLT networks as a potential collaboration opportunity. The project has several good project partners including PLT and Tree Farm. SFI believes connecting teachers and tree farmers for field trips is a positive way to build connections between educators and landowners. The program also has funding for transportation, which helps attract educators from underserved school districts. The project will connect teachers and tour participants with SFI Program Participants. It will also facilitate SFI Program Participant PLT training.
This partnership includes educators, SFI Program Participants, landowners and forestry professionals.
Project lead: South Carolina SFI Implementation Committee
Sustainable Forestry Initiative
Forestry of Association South Carolina
South Carolina Forestry Commission (SFI Program Participant)
South Carolina Timber Producers Association
South Carolina Certified Tree Farm Program
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 was 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.
The South Carolina Forestry Foundation delivered two seven-day graduate-level teachers’ tours in 2012 and 2013 that showed how working forests support South Carolina’s environment, economy and quality of life, and how using SFI water resources requirements serve as a model for responsible forestry.
Project Learning Tree, an SFI program, is an award-winning environmental education program designed for teachers and other educators, parents, and community leaders working with youth from preschool through grade 12.
About the South Carolina SFI Implementation Committee
The South Carolina SFI Implementation Committee is supported by the Forestry Association of South Carolina. The SFI Program responds to local needs and issues across the U.S. and Canada through 34 SFI Implementation Committees at the state, provincial or regional level. SFI Program Participants in South Carolina use sustainable forestry practices in every aspect of their business, from promptly reforesting lands to promoting the biodiversity of plant and wildlife species and enhancing water quality. These companies and landowners understand that to be truly successful in conserving our natural resources for future generations, the forest industry must demonstrate progress each and every year.
COPY LINK: https://www.forests.org/grantscsic/
SFI UPDATE REGARDING COVID-19
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 email@example.com.
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.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.