National Forest Week is held every fall to encourage Canadians to learn more about forests and better understand this valuable and renewable resource. Almost 40% of Canada’s land area is covered in forests and they play a crucial role in our daily lives whether we know it or not. Forests filter our air and the water we drink, provide habitats for a wide diversity of fish, wildlife and numerous other species, as well as supply us with cultural and recreational opportunities, jobs and a myriad of essential wood products.
National Forest Week started out in 1920 as Forest Fire Prevention Week. At the time, there was no apparent shortage of trees and the greatest threat came from forest fires, mainly caused by humans. It was renamed National Forest Week in 1967 and has evolved to encompass the many and varied human and environmental aspects of Canada’s forest resources – past, present and future. According to the Canadian Forest Association (CFA), “National Forest Week remains first and foremost a challenge to individual Canadians throughout the country to learn more about their forest heritage and support greater recognition of the valuable resource.”
How to participate in National Forest Week? The CFA suggests the following:
- arrange a tree planting: www.treecanada.ca (National Tree Day is observed on the Wednesday of National Forest Week)
- take a walk in woods nearby and get to know your forest
- care for a newly planted or neglected tree, and study its species
- identify all the things at home or school that are made of wood
- learn about organizations that demonstrate sustainable forest management
- tour a forest sector industry or processing site
- learn about the prevention of forest fires.
Two Sides North America also has a wealth of resources accessible to anyone interested in learning more about forestry and forest products, particularly paper. Our comprehensive Fact Sheets provide up-to-date and useful information about paper production and recycling, forest certification systems, choosing between digital and paper as well as supplying teachers with resources related to paper and forest products. The Two Sides Myths & Facts series addresses some of the misconceptions about deforestation or environmental impacts and our Infographics are colourful posters that summarize the facts about subjects like “Paper and Sustainable Forestry” (free downloads).
Special activities for National Forest Week are being promoted across Canada. The Forest Products Association of Canada is holding an information series online throughout the week and invites everyone to join in on [email protected]_APFC using the hashtag #forestchat. Topics include innovation, conservation and climate change.
Celebrate the role of forests and forest management at #CanadaGrowsOnTrees.