30-May-2013 18-Oct-2013

It’s the best deal around for a sightseeing tour of part of Eastern Ontario that’s also an environmental learning experience.

It’s South Nation Conservation’s 6th annual Forestry Bus Tour and it’s absolutely free including lunch. The tour departs SNC offices in Finch June 12 at 8 a.m., returning at 4:30 p.m.

Participants travel in style on a comfortable coach rather than a school bus. Between full stops, points of interest are described.

“It’s one of the ways SNC increases awareness of its forestry activities within the watershed and everyone is welcome,” said Josee Brizard, SNC Team Lead, Forest Resources.

The only restriction is a limited number of seats allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis. They can be booked by contacting 877-984-2948 or Deadline is June 7.

The focus is forestry and the tour will concentrate on the north-eastern region of the watershed. Stops will include the recently opened Leitrim Boardwalk, a donated Hallville property, a sweat lodge at Moose Creek, and a Christmas tree farm. A group lunch will be provided at Sand Road Maple Farm, Moose Creek.

Not only does the tour offer a chance for residents to view some important and interesting sites, but they also get to meet SNC staff and learn more about its programs and services, Brizard said.

She pointed out the tour is timely with growing public concern over deforestation due to increased demand for land to put into residential development and farm crops.

According to a recent analysis, while forests across Eastern Ontario grew considerably over the 20th century from a low of 10 per cent, today’s figure is still only 28 per cent. Forest fragmentation is increasing and habitat for some species is in decline.

With final results to be published soon, the analysis conducted by SNC and several partners covered 6,700 square-km. It involved a review of 5,200 aerial photographs.

“Loss of forest cover and habitat are just some of the issues to be discussed during the tour,” Brizard observed. “It’s a day well spent for anyone with an interest in their natural surroundings.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Josee Brizard, SNC, 877-984-2948, ex. 231.