This autumn, more than 8000 schoolchildren took part in forest study programme  15.11

8800 children - more than two thirds of all sixth grade students in Estonia - and their teachers used the opportunity to take part in the study programme “Kohtume metsas!” (“See you in the forest!”) organised by RMK (the State Forest Management Centre).

According to Helen Luks, Chief Specialist of Nature Education of RMK, it was the first time the RMK forest study programme was offered only to the sixth forms and the number of participants was beyond expectation. “Most participants came from Tallinn, Harju County and Ida-Viru County,” said Luks. 

According to Helen Luks, in the 18 programmes carried out by RMK nature centres, the students were engaged in practical activities which taught them to notice the biodiversity of our forests and the link between commercial forests and our everyday life. “The instructors were very satisfied with the interest shown by the children. There is no reason to be afraid of dealing with traditional topics, including forest management-related topics, in the study programmes. It is important to make the topic more attractive by using illustrative material and active methods,” said Luks. In January and February, the next RMK winter programmes will take place, which are directed at the children of all general education schools and kindergartens. 
“See you in the forest!” was related to the life sciences curriculum of the sixth grade, which covers the topic of the forest the most. In addition to carrying out the programme, RMK supported the transport of the participants with three euros per participant and offered tea and snacks by the campfire as a part of the programme. 
This year, on the occasion of the International Year of Forests, RMK has organised several nature education activities. For the tenth time, an interactive forest quiz took place with a record number of 9307 participants from 809 classes. In May, an Estonia-wide forest planting day took place with the participation of 4000 teachers and students. Almost 160,000 new firs and pines were planted on 60 hectares of the state forest.  
RMK is a profit-making state agency established under the Forestry Act, aimed at sustainable and efficient management of the state forest. RMK grows reforestation material, organises forest works, carries out practical nature protection works and is engaged in forest management and timber sales. In addition, RMK creates opportunities for hiking in nature and forest recreation on recreational areas, in Estonia's five national parks and 40 other protected areas, and shapes nature awareness. RMK manages 38% of Estonia's forests.

Helen Luks 
Chief Specialist of Nature Education, Nature Management Department, RMK 
Telephone 502 4492