Tuesday September 21, 2021

UPM to organise forest trips for 6th graders

Published : 21 Aug 2021, 03:34

  DF Report

File Photo UPM by Matti Immonen.

This August and September will mark the fifth time that UPM will be organizing forest trips for sixth grade primary school students, said UPM in a press release.

Organized in co-operation with the Finnish Forest Association and the Finnish youth organization 4H, the excursions will take place in the Finnish cities of Jämsä, Pietarsaari, Rauma and Lappeenranta, where UPM’s mills are located.

The aim of the trips is to provide pupils with a positive forest experience and increase knowledge of how Finnish forests are used.

During the excursions, students will learn about the commercial and recreational use of forests, wildlife management and wood-based products. In addition, every pupil will get the chance to plant a seedling that will become part of a forest.

With 31 classes taking part, there will be roughly 600 pupils and teachers in total participating in these excursions.

As in 2020, the current circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic have been carefully considered. The number of classes has been restricted, with separate transport to the sites for each class. Similarly, different classes are prevented from mixing with each other. Despite the continuing exceptional circumstances, these forest excursions will provide a safe experience for pupils.

“We want to provide the pupils with memorable experiences and give them a chance to learn something new about forests,” said Sami Oksa, Director, Stakeholder Relations, UPM Forest.

“As wood-based products are part of our daily life, we want to increase the pupils’ understanding of forests and wood as a renewable material.”

The content of the excursions supports the curriculum of primary school-level environmental studies.

Sustainable use of natural resources, the use of forests and biodiversity, as well as climate change and how to mitigate it are some of the topics covered under the curriculum.

“Preserving biodiversity is important, especially in commercial forests. Pupils will complete various different exercises and learn how biodiversity can be preserved through the different stages of forestry. In regard to climate change, pupils start with the basic facts, such as how trees absorb carbon during photosynthesis. They will then consider the role of wood-based products as a carbon storage,” said Sirpa Kärkkäinen, Expert of Youth Communications at the Finnish Forest Association.