16 • 12 • 2021

This Year, More than 5 000 Students Mastered Forest Wisdom in Tērvete, Kalsnava and Vijciems Together with LVM Experts

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Last year was an active year for the three largest environmental education facilities of JSC “Latvia's State Forests” (LVM)” – a total of 5 446 school students were educated in Latvia's State Forests Nature Park in Tērvete, LVM Kalsnava Arboretum and Vijciems Cone-drying Facility in 2021. In accordance with the safety measures in place in the country, forest lessons took place both in person and remotely on-line, with the participation of 193 teachers from various general education schools in Latvia.

The schools were most interested in the “Digital Forest Days”, organized by LVM Kalsnava Arboretum last spring, providing on-line classes on forest restoration for 2663 students. Also, a significant number of students, 1975 young people, attended face-to-face forest study classes in the “Green Classroom” and the “Land of Kurbads” in Latvia’s State Forest Nature Park in Tērvete. In turn, at LVM Vijciems Cone-drying Facility, learners were most interested in classes on the ancient cone drying process.

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Throughout the year, students have had an opportunity to head for LVM Forest Expeditions and hiking tours at these major environmental education facilities, thus combining learning with active recreation in nature. Several large-scale environmental education events have also taken place, such as the Sprīdītis name day event in Tērvete, as well as various permanent environmental education trails and stands. This year, they have been supplemented by several virtual 360-degree towers, which allow you to explore the forest from a bird's eye view and perform interactive tasks.

New and exciting solutions for school students

Gatis Teilis, Head of LVM Kalsnava Arboretum Information Centre, points out that it is important to create new environmental education materials every year and to constantly develop them: “In order to ensure the development of environmental awareness at LVM Kalsnava Arboretum, a camp programme has been established this year. Its aim is to encourage children and young people to explore the environment by learning about the structure of wood, as well as to promote creativity by making a variety of products from the resources available in nature. We have also created new seasonal worksheets “The Observant Nature Explorer”, which allows each visitor to discover the wonders of nature individually.”

This spring, LVM Kalsnava Arboretum carried out contactless excursions for the first time. During this time, pre-school and primary education institutions were able to receive special environmental information boxes containing five tasks. The students received prizes for completing the tasks sequentially and successfully.

“The spring came with the restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which did not allow us to meet in person, so we looked for solutions and came up with the idea for the “Environmental Information Box”. We created this box to encourage children to go to nature and see, hear and discover the magic of nature anywhere in Latvia or with us in the arboretum. It seems so mundane, but often a small encouragement is needed, which we also provided with these boxes,” says Gatis Teilis.

Children learn the wisdom of the forest

New environmental education activities in Latvia's State forests will continue in December and next year, when, for example, LVM Nature Park in Tērvete will offer an interactive walking trail “Get to Know the Diversity of Titmice”, classes on wood biorefining and the “Latvian Forest Days” for families.

Every year, in cooperation with the National Centre for Education, JSC “Latvia's State Forests” offers schools an opportunity to learn in nature. From pre-school children to university students and teachers, everyone has an opportunity to walk along Latvia’s State forest trails and enhance their school-based knowledge with hands-on nature assignments. Each year, more than 20 000 children, students and teachers explore the forest in the diverse LVM school programmes. For more information, please visit www.lvm.lv/skolam