For several weeks in March, CTE students in Sherri Slater’s Environmental Conservation and Forestry class travelled from SAEC to Granville Highschool to work on the trail system. Winter storms had caused branches from several trees to break. And overgrowth meant that sun could not get to the trails to melt snow and ice, both issues causing potential hazards.
The district and CTE created opportunity out of the problem. The CTE program got some valuable time practicing their chainsaw and silviculture skills. Normally Mrs. Slater’s Environmental Conservation and Forestry class is out at the land lab at Crossett Lake in Fort Ann. But during the winter, it is not always accessible, and students have to stay on campus. So Mrs. Slater welcomed the opportunity to provide more outdoor experiences for her students.
Korey Evarts, a senior from Fort Ann said his favorite part of the work was felling trees. Students also worked on “bucking” which means they had to cut the felled trees into smaller more manageable pieces. They also concentrated on tree identification and maintaining the health of the tree stand.
Collin Traver, a junior from Ft. Ann said the project helped the students to improve their communications skills. “Before we went to Granville HS we planned everything out and determined who would do what,” said Traver.
Jacob Barrows, a junior from Hudson Falls, said, “it almost made us work harder because we were working for someone else.”
It was a win-win for everyone. Sherry Slater said it was important for the students to understand that they weren't just working for her as the instructor. They had to take into consideration other people’s requirements and schedules, all skills they will need to use when they are in the workforce. “They did a great job. I saw a lot of grow from these students because of the project.”
Slater and the students look forward to continuing the partnership with the district next fall.
Students clearing trails.