(Sault Ste. Marie, ON April 24, 2019) – Today, representatives from Sault College and the Sault Ste. Marie Region Conservation Authority (SSMRCA) joined together to sign a memorandum of understanding that will support both student learning and collaboration opportunities between the two organizations. The signing, which took place days after celebrating Earth Day, is a symbol of the College’s commitment to establishing new and valuable learning opportunities for students while strengthening community relationships, and sustainability within the Algoma Region.
This collaboration will provide both organizations with the opportunity to promote education, research and conservation in the Algoma Region and will serve as a basis for information and data sharing.
Students from the College’s Natural Environment programs, including: Forestry, Natural Environment Technician / Technologist, Fish and Wildlife, Adventure Recreation and Parks, Natural Resources / Environmental Law, Utility Arbourist Apprenticeship, will greatly benefit from this new partnership.
“Sault College is proud to partner with SSMRCA through this memorandum of understanding. This type of working partnership has many far reaching benefits not only to our College and students but also to our local community and region,” said David Orazietti, Dean, Aviation, Natural Environment, Business, and Trades and Technology. “SSMRCA has been a strong supporter of our College and this collaboration will allow us to work jointly in the promotion and education of conservation. It will also allow our students to continue to participate in the experiential learning opportunities that add a tremendous richness to our programs.”
“The SSMRCA is delighted to sign this MOU with Sault College to create the necessary learning environment to assist the advancement of Natural Environment students,” said Rhonda Bateman, General Manager of the SSMRCA. “The Conservation Authority is fortunate to own lands that are environmentally diverse and can be used for education, research and practical application of natural resource management principles. The sharing of information and research will assist the SSMRCA in making sound environmental decisions on its properties.”
Sault College and SSMRCA have enjoyed a strong relationship, which supports both organizations. Some practical examples of this collaboration include:
· First year Natural Environment students camp and engage in field exercises for eight days on SSMRCA property every September as part of First Year Field Camp (150 students)
· Utility Arbourist students removed 14 dead and dangerous trees from in and around the Thayer’s Acres Campground in March 2019
· Fish and Wildlife students complete a deer browse survey and population estimate each winter in the Mark’s Bay Conservation area, sharing the data and monitoring the population from year to year
· Natural Environment Technician/Technology students complete a ‘stream health assessment’ on the Crystal Creek each fall, providing a full annual report on the stream’s status
· Adventure Recreation and Parks students assist with SSMRCA Trail Maintenance in Fort Creek and Hiawatha as part of their studies
· Students volunteer on their own time to participate in SSMRCA tree planting events in the Landslide/Hiawatha area
Together, Sault College and SSMRCA will continue to support education and research and the advancement of conservation and sustainability in the Algoma Region.