Forests: Nature at your Service

For World Environment Day (#WED2011), my family and I decided to write a post together.

What does the forest mean to you? What do you think of nature’s forest services (for example water, food, medicine, clean air, preventing soil erosion, timber products, rubber, home for many plants and animals, etc.)?

Unlike W.O Mitchell’s version of a prairie childhood, we grew up where the forest meets the prairie. Our grandfather had a sawmill. A number of uncles built wood cabin houses with their own hands, one uncle made custom cupboards, another planted trees and another was a forest ranger. My dad used to tell us stories about a forest monster to scare us from wandering in it alone at night. There is an old Ukrainian fairytale about a Makva – a protectorate of the forest. I often think of this as our role. All of our responsibility as global citizens.

Our whole livelihood was centered around the forest and forest production. Our third-grade teacher did a fun exercise. All of the students stood up and were asked whether their family’s income was based on the forest. There were three forest mills in town. One by one we all sat down. Forests are interwoven in many of my childhood memories. We created games, picked blueberries or morels, build forts with broken branches or lay reading out of the afternoon sun. As a teenager, I worked in the regional park and gave tours talking about the types of trees, the fresh water creek and the town history.

From my nieces and nephew:

Abby demonstrates a person breathing oxygen because of trees. As well, has drawn a wooden desk and chair with paper and a pencil.


Peter: “homework kills trees“. Clearly, more online education web apps are in order. Also, it might be a good idea to not ask kids about school on a Sunday.

Visit and ‘like’ the UNEP Facebook page and the TreeHugger.com Facebook page. Search #WED2011 on Twitter. Follow @UNEPandYou & @TreeHugger on Twitter.

Check out the UNEP and Treehugger websites.

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