Forests Ontario Hosts Inaugural Forestry Connects program in southern OntarioSTOUFFVILLE, ON, Nov. 8, 2016 /CNW/ - Today, in partnership with the Municipality of York Region, Forests Ontario hosted local schools for its first Forestry Connects program in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The Bill Fisch Forest Stewardship and Education Centre provided the ideal location to unite 35 urban students with nature. Students participated in several hands on workshops including orienteering, forest inventory and tree seed collection. Since 2010, Forests Ontario's Forestry Connects program has provided more than 300 high school students with the opportunity to receive a behind-the-scenes look at the role that forestry plays in communities across the province. "The forests of York Region are an important backbone of this community. Aside from providing valuable recreational places, the forests are also managed to provide a wide variety of other benefits including wood products, biodiversity and education," explains Ian Buchanan, Natural Heritage and Forestry Manager, York Region. "The fact that this program is taking place at the Bill Fisch Forest Stewardship and Education Centre also gives the students a first-hand look at a building that is inspired by the forest. This building, which was submitted for LEED certification, was built with sustainably sourced wood and uses solar energy - much like a tree." Forestry Connects provides an important opportunity for students to learn about the variety of careers in forestry - from forestry professionals, machine operators, and even biologists. Everyone within Ontario's world leading forestry sector plays an important role in ensuring that our natural resources are managed in a sustainably by balancing social, environmental, and economic objectives. More importantly, the Forestry Connects program provides students with the opportunity to network with those working in these careers to ask about their education and career paths, and leave inspired. It also challenges students to learn beyond the classroom and ask questions they may not ask in a traditional learning environment.