Ontario Forestry Association

Ontario Forestry Association

November 23, 2006 15:00 ET

Ontario Forestry Association: Budding Environmentalists Identify Trees In Competition

Tree Bee Showcases Young Students' Skills

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 23, 2006) - Over 120 young environmentalists will show off their tree identification skills in the 54th Annual Tree Bee Competition this evening at Brebeuf College in North York. The participants, who are all in grades 4 to 6, will identify over 30 trees and answer conservation questions as they compete for the championship.

Tree Bee is an Ontario Forestry Association education program that teaches students about tree identification and conservation. Enrolled participants prepare by learning the characteristics of various trees through a series of pictures and quizzes available on the Tree Bee Resource CD. Retired teacher, Larry Noonan, who is a longtime supporter of the program, developed the CD. Students then register in teams of three to participate in the annual competition.

Tree Bee is a great opportunity for budding environmentalists to learn about nature and the environment while representing their school in a friendly and exciting environment. Participants come away with an appreciation and understanding of the forest ecosystem.

"The fact that these young people can identify trees, in a world where most their age can only identify corporate logos, should be commended," says Kristina Quinlan, Education Programs Manager at the Ontario Forestry Association. "These young minds should be applauded for getting excited about the environment."

Thirty-nine teams of students from Toronto Catholic, Durham Catholic and York Region District School Boards are competing in this evening's Tree Bee Competition. For tonight's competition, participants will identify 30 trees and answer conservation-oriented multiple-choice questions. While the results are tabulated, students and parents will enjoy a tree planting presentation by Rob Keen from the Trees Ontario Foundation and a special presentation about animals by representatives from the Toronto Zoo.

The winning team of this year's Tree Bee Competition will receive the Wharton Award, donated in memory of Adrian Paul Wharton, a teacher who devoted much energy in bringing the outdoors to inner city children through his involvement in Tree Bee. The competition starts at 7:30 pm.

The Ontario Forestry Association is a non-profit, registered charity dedicated to raising awareness and understanding of Ontario's forests, and to fostering stewardship of forest ecosystems. For more information, please visit www.oforest.on.ca.

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