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Forest Fest 2012 at Trees For Tomorrow Promotes Northwoods Ingenuity, Culture & Artistry
Trees For Tomorrow and Partners In Forestry (PIF) hosted their 2nd Annual Forest Fest on the Trees For Tomorrow school campus, Saturday, August 4. Folks of all ages were welcome at Forest Fest, a free, family-friendly event. Overall, its mission was to unify the local community of individuals, businesses, service organizations, artists, and craftspeople to celebrate and impart to the public their enthusiasm for wood and forestlands as a natural resource. In only its second year garnering recognition, foot traffic brought nearly 600 visitors.
The Wisconsin State Energy Office, Wisconsin Environmental Education Board, Wisconsin Energy Foundation, Wisconsin Public Service, Georgia-Pacific, and the First National Bank of Eagle River provided sponsorship for this year’s Forest Fest.
Trekking the grounds of Forest Fest one could soak up a generous variety of local color, talent, and northwoods ambiance. Ponsse, an international builder of forestry equipment, once again provided a formidable and awesome spectacle of timber harvesting machinery, a forwarder, dwarfing onlookers as they stood at its tires.
You could even put yourself in the shoes of forestry professionals, as many children did, while suspended high above on tree branches by harness and rope with arborist Jamie Remme of Remme Tree Service, LLC. UW-Stevens Point Timbersports Team, awarded 1st place in the 2012 Midwestern Foresters' Conclave, presented a mighty showing of dexterity, braun, and focus in their demonstrations of events such as cross-cut sawing and wood chopping. Professional chainsaw artist Ken Schels of KMS Limited, roared a toothy chainsaw on upright logs, diligently transforming them into figural and wildlife sculptures of all shapes and sizes.
At the Georgia-Pacific papermaking class, visitors experienced production aspects of a major renewable resource of the forest– paper. Here they could handcraft their own sheet of paper from a solution of water and pulp fibers. Bringing the story full circle and providing an idea of forest management in the formulation of products, professional forestry management tours were offered at a nearby forest. Exemplifying the many land uses in the northwoods, organizations like the Teaching Drum School, Vilas County Lakes & Rivers Association, and the Wisconsin Trappers Association were present to answer questions in the areas of woodlands ownership and management, forestry history, wildlife, lakes and rivers, medicinal plants, invasive species, hunting, trapping, and sustainable survival techniques.
Winged wildlife of the area took center stage during showings of Trees For Tomorrow’s Birds of Prey program, featuring two rescued birds and animal ambassadors– Apollo, a red-tailed hawk and Orion, a great-horned owl. Children and adults alike delighted in the chance to examine these stealthy hunters up close and gain knowledge of their species.
Forest Fest featured crafts and arts in a plethora of media– woodturning, woven pine needle, and birch bark basketry, chainsaw-carving, wood burning, fiber artists, and more. The atmosphere was teeming with folksy tunes early in the day by the Bret and Frisk Band, followed by historical songsmith Bill Jamerson, ventriloquist act Dave & Skippy, and Dale Hoffman the DrumComic. Storyteller Mary Schueller painted a picture of the Civilian Conservation Corps era speaking of the efforts of these hearty soldiers.
Rocking W Stables provided festival participants to a free horse-drawn wagon ride encircling the campus. Fresh buttered corn on the cob from the Corn Lady and Futility Farms grass-fed hamburgers in addition to free cake and ice cream made the festival experience delectable.
With attractions and entertainment for every curiosity and taste, Trees For Tomorrow and Partners In Forestry look forward with promise to the 3rd Annual Forest Fest next year on Saturday, August 3rd, 2013.###
Trees For Tomorrow is a natural resources specialty school located in Eagle River, Wisconsin. Various programs are offered for all ages throughout the year, that place participants in direct contact with natural resources that support human needs. These programs develop awareness, knowledge and understanding of natural resources to help participants understand and make informed decisions regarding the management and wise use of those resources. The experience inspires informed participation in policymaking and promotes stewardship and renewal of natural resources for use by future generations.