Last week, students at Shead High School in Eastport participated in a unique learning opportunity with the Downeast Lakes Land Trust (DLLT). Stephanie Allard’s “Natural History of Maine Ecosystems” class worked with DLLT Education and Outreach Manager Colin Brown to set up a Forest Inventory Growth (FIG) plot in a nearby wooded area of Eastport. FIG plots are selected areas that are used by foresters to determine the overall growth and health of a larger forest.
The tenth of an acre plot, located near the school, allows for a close-up study of different species of trees, shrubs, soil types, and other living organisms. Students in grades 10 – 12 ventured out with diameter measuring tapes, a clinometer, and clipboards to inventory and record all of the trees in their plot. With the area flagged and marked, students can continue to visit the site at different times of the year to monitor changes in the forest. This FIG plot lesson plays a key role in a larger forestry unit that allows students the chance to learn more about local ecosystems.
“It was great for students to see the practical application of what they’ve been learning in class in our Maine forests unit,” said Allard. “Working in the FIG plot really put their tree ID skills to the test and made them aware of what tools foresters use every day in the field.”
The Downeast Lakes Land Trust offers free education programs for area schools in the Downeast Lakes region. If you are interested in learning more about DLLT’s school programs, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (207) 796 – 2100.