"We think Maine educators will come away from this tour with a significant understanding of forest and watershed processes, as well as concrete tools to use in the classroom," Kevin Doran, Maine Forest Service natural science educator, said.
A major component of the Presumpscot River watershed, Sebago Lake is the key intake for water supply to 15 percent of Maine's 1.3 million people. The lake is the principal source of water for the greater Portland area. Educators will tour the forested landscapes around Sebago Lake to learn how well-managed forests contribute to clean drinking water and economic and recreational opportunities, as well as to wildlife habitats.
Tour leaders will relate history, science, math and technology presentations to Common Core standards with lessons from the field and from two of Project Learning Tree's outstanding curriculum guides: "Places We Live;" and the 2011 "Exploring Environmental Issues: Focus on Forests." The new guide includes a case study about this vitally important watershed and the importance of protecting it for Maine citizens today and into the future.
Handouts and resource materials include the PLT guides, maps, a "Forest Trees of Maine" book published by the Maine Forest Service and more. Participants will receive eight contact hours. They should be sure to dress for outdoor activities rain or shine. Snacks and lunch provided.
The Maine Forest Service works to ensure that the trees and forest lands of Maine will continue to provide benefits for present and future generations of Maine people. The state agency does this by: developing, advocating for, and promoting activities that encourage the sound long-term management of Maine's forest resources; protecting Maine's forest resources from the effects of fire, insects, disease and misuse; and providing accurate, relevant, and timely information about Maine's forest resources.
Project Learning Tree is an internationally recognized environmental-education program. Through hands-on, interdisciplinary activities, PLT provides students in pre-kindergarten through grade 12 with opportunities to investigate environmental issues, enabling them to make informed, responsible decisions. Maine PLT is an education program of the Maine Tree Foundation and the American Forest Foundation.
For more information about the Maine Forest Service, go to http://www.maine.gov/doc/mfs/index.shtml.
For more information about Project Learning Tree, go to http://www.mainetreefoundation.org/programs/plt-index.html.