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Part of a 47-foot mural painted for the school's centennial by alumnus Barry Nehr. It's on display this weekend. Photo: Todd Moe
Part of a 47-foot mural painted for the school's centennial by alumnus Barry Nehr. It's on display this weekend. Photo: Todd Moe

Preview: Forestry Festival in Wanakena

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A century of life in the woods is the theme of the Forestry Festival at the Ranger School in Wanakena this weekend. The school is celebrating its centennial. Todd Moe spoke with director Christopher Westbrook about the festival.

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Todd Moe
Morning Host and Producer

This summary only contains a portion of what’s in the audio interview. For the full interview, click “listen with NCPR player”.

The Forestry Festival at the Ranger School in Wanakena kicks off Friday night, with a lecture at 7:30 p.m. The Ranger school is celebrating its centennial this academic year, with activities throughout the weekend.

Christopher Westbrook, the school’s director, says the celebration will include  “activities for the children, we have vendors coming in, we have hikes in the woods, we have demonstrations, and we even have a guest lecturer coming all the way from the Bavarian National Forest in Germany."

The theme of the festival is life in the woods—and Westbrook says it’s also celebrating the school’s mission of instructing students on what happens in the woods, how to be comfortable in the woods, and how to learn to have a profession in the woods.

 “The highlight for me is the opportunity just to share with our neighbors and friends throughout the Adirondack Park, throughout St. Lawrence County, and throughout the North Country what we do here at the Ranger’s School,” Westbrook says. “This is a big opportunity for us to show what this fairly small institution in Wanakena has been doing for a 100 years.”

Events this weekend will include a tour through the arboretum given by the school’s dendrology professor. Visitors can also take in a surveying and GPS demo given by the school’s surveying teacher.” On a less academic note, Westbrook says, “our blue ox woodsmen’s team is going to show people about what a woodsmen’s or timber sports team would do. We’re going to have a couple faculty down doing some saw milling, and we’re going to have a guided walk with an instructor talking about insects and disease that affect the forest.“

Other events include 5k fun run/walk Saturday, forestry demonstrations, artists, artisans, The Blind Owl Band, and Roy Hurd.

For more information visit the festival’s web site here.

 

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