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Forestry is construed

Forestry is construed to refer to the art or even the science of controlling, administration and supervision of not only tree plantations but also forests and other relates resources. It involves activities such as managing forests and tree plantations to produce timber, growing of trees, taking care of already planted and young trees, protection of natural water catchment areas, control of erosion, landscaping for beauty and biodiversity management among other activities (Robinson, 1988).

All these activities are the responsibility of the forestry professionals, staff and a number of volunteers who are either taking a course in forestry or have a passion for nature and its protection and sustainability. My interest in forestry took me to offer my voluntary services to the National Forest Volunteer Program. I applied and was taken in as a seasonal volunteer offering 8 hours a week for 6 weeks.

I was then taken through an orientation program for the volunteers in which a total of 20 other volunteers and I were briefly enlightened on the history of the forest service its acti8vities and other relevant information. Further, the objectives of the volunteer program were enumerated and we were also informed of the safety procedures during working hours inside and even outside the forest. The most important safety procedure emphasized was the need to protect the forest, forestry staff and the volunteers from incidences of fires.

We were then taken on a tour of the forest in which we were to work and some of the activities we were to carry out in our entire volunteer time in the forest. Some of the activities distinct of our volunteer services were, protecting the forest against fire, hosting forest camp grounds, planting trees, assigned activities dispatched to reinstating damaged streambeds and conduction of interpretive nature walks for which scripts are written for the visitors touring the forest.

After the brief tour and demonstration of the activities the entire group (twenty one volunteers) were going to perform for the six weeks they shall be volunteering their services in the forest, we were then divided into groups depending on the areas each volunteer was interested in offering services and introduced to the forestry staff that we shall be working with.

In my group, there was three other volunteers plus me making the group to be of four members charged with the responsibility of reforestation or. We were expected to comb through the forest, take statistics of the indigenous trees of a specific species and if need be plant more of such trees or many more of other species as directed by the staff member patronizing our group. The statistics would then be recorded and handed in to the patron.

We were also expected to plant tree each day in the free land adjacent to the forest as a way of promoting the culture of being mindful of nature and environment everyday. Further, as we conducted the physical tree census in the forest, we would also identify fallen trees that were injuring the neighboring trees and call the logging personnel to cut it into shape or entirely. All these activities were being carried out in a span of two hours a day starting from 10 am in the morning.

Afterward, the team members would then leave at their own pleasure. Often I would join the nature walk group to enjoy the beautiful landscape in their interpretive nature walks. However, some of the days I would go straight back home. It was a coincidence that all members in my group had signed for six weeks but the number of hours varied. I had signed for two hours while the rest had times ranging from six to eight hours a day.

At the end of the six weeks, I was awarded the certificate of participation in the National Forest Volunteer Program besides a recommendation letter and a membership card inviting me to drop by and inform them of my interest to work with them whenever I was free again. Therefore, that marked the end of the volunteer program I took part in which was not only fun but also immensely informative and educative. References Robinson G, (1988): The Forest and the Trees: A Guide to Excellent Forestry, Island Press, p9

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