The Maine TREE Foundation’s Long-Term Education About Forests (LEAF) program is designed to increase public understanding of, and appreciation for, Maine’s 17 million acres of forest. LEAF encourages recognition of and respect for all forest values including wood production, recreation, wildlife, aesthetics, soil and water quality, and biodiversity of plant and animal species. Through greater understanding and awareness, the public can help form and support responsible natural resource policies.
For over twenty years the LEAF program has demonstrated how a well-constructed and professionally implemented forest management plan can have a material impact on the public’s understanding of forest related issues. Public and private funders alike have committed to ongoing support for this education effort because it reaches a broad and diverse audience and creates connections and understanding about Maine’s forests that otherwise would not be possible.
LEAF education and outreach programs include the acclaimed summer Maine Teachers’ Tours* (2018 TT Brochure); Maine Project Learning Tree; the Forest Inventory Growth (FIG) program; and a variety of Outdoor Classrooms. Each of these programs reaches formal and non-formal educators, land trusts, natural resource professionals, loggers, wood manufacturers and communities throughout our state. For more information, please click on any of the hyperlinks above.
*Forests of Maine Teachers’ Tours
One of the Maine TREE Foundation’s most popular programs, the Teachers’ Tours event is in its twenty-first year. Each year, the acclaimed four-day tours focus on the growth, harvest and processing of wood and fiber, including renewable biomass energy, pulp & paper and traditional forest products such as 2 X 4’s, plywood and other construction materials. Teachers in grades K-12, Girl and Boy Scout leaders, adult educators, land trust staff and conservation commission members are among those who learn about Maine’s forest resource from professional foresters. Following the Teachers’ Tours, participants are well prepared to return to the classroom with stimulating approaches to share this knowledge with students, colleagues and communities.
A Project Learning Tree Workshop is offered on the first day of each of the Teachers’ Tours. Later in the tours, educators have the opportunity to tour wood products manufacturers, visit high-tech paper manufacturing or sawmilling operations or observe different timber harvesting techniques. They’ll also be able to visit active harvests that use modern felling equipment that places a lighter footprint on forest soils. In-field discussions about the practice of sustainable forestry with landowners, foresters, loggers, mill owners and scientists stimulate interesting conversation.
The 2018 tours took place at the Poland Spring Resort on July 10 -13 and at Leen’s Lodge – Grand Lake Stream on July 24 – 27. Resource professionals, including state and private foresters, loggers, land and mill owners, scientists, educators and community leaders provided an opportunity for in-depth discussions about forestry issues throughout the week.
Click here to read an article from a participant of the 2018 Teachers’ Tours!
Here are some photos from Teachers’ Tour #1.
Here are some photos from Teachers’ Tour #2.