First-year students of NAIT’s Forest Technology program were recently surprised during their orientation with a generous gift from Tolko with support from the Forest Resource Improvement Association of Alberta (FRIAA).
As they were learning about the ins and outs of their program, meeting instructors and classmates and getting a better idea about what lay ahead, a fantastic announcement took them by surprise. “The special announcement [we have for you today] is that Tolko is going to cover all of your costs for field equipment for this fall,” exclaimed Trevor April, Department Head, Natural Sciences and Academic Studies at NAIT. “We’re excited for you and for the program.”
The magnitude of Tolko’s gift extends beyond the in-class announcement that all first-year students of NAIT’s Forest Technology program will receive their equipment free of cost for an additional two years.
“Personally, I’m really excited for this opportunity for Tolko and FRIAA to give back to the first-year students at NAIT,” said Travis Kiel, Manager, Woodlands Improvement at Tolko.
“Being a graduate of this program myself, I can attest to the importance of having the right equipment for the job. Being able to provide this forestry toolkit not only gets the right gear in students’ hands, but it also helps to create a safer experience at forestry field camp and beyond and lifts some financial strain off students.”
For students, purchasing and assembling all the tools and equipment needed to head out to forestry camp can be financially and logistically daunting. Said one student, “I think Tolko made the program better just because they relieved all the stress of getting our own gear and [the] worries if we were going to get the wrong stuff.”
“It was going to be a huge expense so not having to worry about that is freaking amazing,” offered another student.
“We are hopeful that this gift can help people fully realize their love of forestry and be confident that forestry is a good career [choice],” said Travis. “We are always looking for forestry students and forestry grads, in fact, a lot of our workforce are NAIT graduates.”
Check out the thank-you video below from the students.
This article was originally posted on the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) website on October 3, 2023.
About Kidney Lake forestry field camp
In NAIT’s Forest Technology diploma program, students learn how to manage forests responsibly and sustainably on behalf of the residents of Alberta through a variety of field activities, class lectures and data analysis. The first 5 weeks of Year 1 are spent at NAIT’s Kidney Lake camp, located about 50 km northwest of Whitecourt, AB. During camp, students spend a lot of time in the field developing foundational skills in wildfire suppression, plant identification, forest ecology and forest measurements.
About Tolko Industries Ltd. (Tolko)
Tolko is a leading manufacturer of a wide range of forest products for customers around the world, including lumber, plywood and veneer-oriented strand board, co-products, biomass power, and a growing number of specialty wood products. For more than 65 years, our family-owned company has delivered reliability, flexibility, efficiency, and quality. Our first mill in Lavington is still operating, and our headquarters is right in downtown Vernon. We play an active role in the communities where our employees live and work.
About Forest Resource Improvement Association of Alberta (FRIAA)
FRIAA serves the people of Alberta and is accountable to the Minister responsible for Forestry. Over nearly two decades, FRIAA has helped Alberta continue to develop world-class forest management practices and a sophisticated understanding of the relationships between things like human activity, forest resources, species at risk and wildfire.