18:37 PM

Do You Know What Silviculture Is?


“We have sequestered 3 tonnes of C02, diverted 3 cubic meters of wood from the landfill, and laughed and learned while doing it.” - Brad MacDonald, Professor, Building Systems and Sustainability.




Silviculture is the branch of forestry that deals with establishing, caring for, and reproducing stands of trees for a variety of forest uses, including wildlife habitat, timber production, and outdoor recreation, according to the Canadian Encyclopedia. And that is precisely what Mohawk College introduced local high school students to at the Interactive Silviculture learning plan day.

This discovery event allowed 80 students from Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, Hamilton Wentworth Catholic District School Board and Hamilton District Christian High School to create with lumber from locally sourced mixed hard and soft woods.


“Working a sawmill is something a lot of students never get a chance to be a part of and the fact that they get to bring something tangible back to their schools for future students to use simply added to their interest for the whole day” said, Jeff Bondy, Technologist, Building Systems and Sustainability .



The importance of responsible management of our forests was a key message as students received an overview of the forest service industry.

Brad MacDonald, Professor, Building Systems and Sustainability said the students showed a lot of interest and excitement throughout this learning experience,  “There was a lot of information about the environmental impact of saving these logs from going into the landfill. Students learned how a tree is processed and prepared to become usable material in their wood shop.”



It was a hands-on experience as students had a chance to run the sawmill, produce rough lumber, stack and label, then band it for drying and transport. The class will have around 300 board feet of usable lumber to be delivered to the school for use in projects the following academic year.



Silvi4“Introducing the grade 10 and 11 students to the milling process was a pleasure. Safety is always our priority on any of these projects. Our goal was to encourage every student to get involved and have fun. While some were operating the sawmill, others were stacking and adding stickers to the newly cut lumber to be shipped and dried at their school. I’m thrilled I was a part of this experience, and I can’t wait to see some of these students join us in the future”, said Darren Hyland, Professor Building Systems and Sustainability .

Mohawk College gave students an opportunity to learn about the benefits of building with wood and an shared an understanding of how Canada manages our forests as a sustainable and recreational resource.


“One student expressed that they would certainly be letting fellow students at their school know about the day’s activities, what they learned about our facility and the love and dedication our team has for our programs. I look forward to assisting with this program in the future." Jeff Bondy, Technologist Building Systems and Sustainability.

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For any questions about the event, reach out to The Skilled Trades & Apprenticeship Community Hub via email apprenticeshiphub@mohawkcollege.ca.