Scion celebrates International Year of Forests

7 March 2011

Scion is using its ‘Science in the Park’ open day on Saturday 12 March as an opportunity to celebrate the International Year of Forests.

Scion’s head of Forestry Science Dr Brian Richardson says there is no better place than the beautiful tree-lined grounds of Rotorua’s Crown Research Institute (CRI) to learn about the benefits that forests bring.

“Whakarewarewa Forest is a world-class example of how forests provide many valuable functions. Not only do they produce useful materials, they also help the environment and offer great recreational opportunities,” he explains.

As the CRI that serves New Zealand’s forestry sector, Scion has a long history of helping to create and develop plantation forests for the national good.

“International Year of Forests is a global effort to raise awareness on responsible management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests.

“Science in the Park provides an opportunity for the public to come and learn about the important role of plantation forests in New Zealand,” says Dr Richardson.

Visitors will have the opportunity to learn about how forests can help with climate change, and how trees can be used to replace oil wells.

They can also learn about the amazing versatility of wood as one of the world’s most plentiful renewable resources.

Other activities show how science helps to protect our forests from damage caused by pests, diseases or fire.

“Science has a major role in making sure that forests are managed sustainably so they can continue to supply the needs of society and help the balance of nature,” Dr Richardson says.

People are invited to come along between 9am – 3pm to experience the interactive displays, participate in science experiments, take a guided tour or simply enjoy a day next to Rotorua’s favourite forest.  

Visitors are encouraged to bring along plants for identification by herbarium staff.

The programme also includes prize draws for children and a photography competition for Bay of Plenty students.