Charles Bloom Secondary school is one of three schools in B.C. to be awarded for Innovation and Excellence in Woodlot Management.
The Minister's Award recognizes a woodlot licensee representing each of the Coast, South and North areas, along with an overall top performer. Award winners are nominated through official submissions received by the Federation of BC Woodlot Associations.
"I'm encouraged by the work that Charles Bloom Secondary school is doing to prepare the next generation of forestry workers," said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. "This type of innovation is also an educational opportunity for the surrounding community. It's a pleasure to name the school as this year's provincial and South area award recipient for innovation and excellence in woodlot management."
The forestry program at Charles Bloom school has run for 45 years and acquired the woodlot in 2002.
Revenues from the woodlot are used to fund the program, which offers a non-traditional learning environment where students can better equip themselves with skills to enter the forest sector workforce after graduation.
The program works closely with local forest professionals to ensure economic and environmental sustainability for current and future generations.
"I'm incredibly proud of the work this year's award winners are undertaking to provide benefits to the communities and forested areas around them," said Jeff Beale, president of the Federation of British Columbia Woodlot Associations. "Award recipients continue to demonstrate the enhanced opportunity for additional local revenue streams, employment, education and sustainability when innovation and excellence in woodlot management are applied. Congratulations to Charles Bloom Secondary school for leading the pack, and kudos to Martin Tooms, the teacher who is the driving force behind the program."
The program benefits the surrounding community by managing the long-term health and viability of the woodlot and area forest stands, including wildfire risk mitigation, reforestation with genetically improved stock, monitoring and evaluating regeneration, maintaining public access for non-timber forest products and a 2017 effort to reduce the spread of Douglas fir beetle.
This year's recipients include:
- Charles Bloom Secondary school - provincial and South area
- Todd Thompson and Joan Thompson - Coast area
- Saulteau First Nations (John Stokmans) - North area
Award winners not only receive a signed, framed certificate of recognition from the minister, but the recipients also take home $2,500 each for their area awards, with an additional $2,500 going to the Charles Bloom Secondary school for also being named the top performer provincially.