© 2016 by Rural Aspirations Project

Photos taken in Central Maine,  courtesy of Isaiah Soll

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

MFC students are knowledgeable and innovative problem solvers who understand Maine’s natural resources as well as their own aspirations; in addition, they embrace their role as citizens and stewards of Maine’s rural places. Students work directly with business, community and organizational leaders developing creative solutions for a thriving and diverse forest economy. The Maine Forests Collaborative is a multi-tiered partnership modeled after the highly successful Eastern Maine Skippers Program, which was developed, implemented and refined by Todd West, Deer Isle Stonington High School Principal, Val Peacock, an Educational Design Specialist from the Rural Aspirations Project and a team of professionals from the Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries in Stonington, Maine.  

 

The MFC invites schools and communities in rural Central and Northern Maine to engage in collaborative teaching and learning partnership focused on:

 

  • honoring and building on knowledge, skills, and expertise of those working to sustain rural Maine’s forests economies.

 

  • creating innovative ways to build enduring social capital in rural communities.

 

  • educating students about how to engage in sustaining working forests and rural communities, emphasizing college and career readiness.

 

Students, teachers, parents, industry leaders, entrepreneurs, and community members will share and explore historical perspectives, learn about future job/career opportunities, and engage in innovative problem solving for the long-term viability of Maine’s diverse forest economy and rural communities.  A diverse forest economy includes expansion of sustainable and profitable forest industries, long-term conservation planning, entrepreneurship, and enhancement of recreational opportunities that honor the rich heritage of the region.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MFC students are knowledgeable and innovative problem solvers who understand Maine’s natural resources as well as their own aspirations; in addition, they embrace their role as citizens and stewards of Maine’s rural places. Students work directly with business, community and organizational leaders developing creative solutions for a thriving and diverse forest economy.

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Imagine a heterogeneous group of rural students, from counties stretching across Maine, collaborating with University students and professors to find innovative and lucrative ways to process slash left over from a selective forest harvest.  Imagine students working with community leaders to develop management plans for small woodlot owners.  Imagine students collaborating with businesses and local organizations to design a community event that highlights the natural assets of a region, bringing tourism and recreation to the area.  Imagine students partnering with local entrepreneurs to develop business plans utilizing forest resources.  

 

In the Forest Collaborative, some of those students work with one teacher, from one school, for one period a day.  They are invested in seeing a future for Maine’s forest industry.  Some schools have groups of students that identify themselves as future leaders in Maine’s forest economy.  These students might work within a carefully designed Career Pathway to master core content standards with an emphasis on Maine’s forest communities; past, present, and future.  Some students work with a community advisor, after school, to expand their skills or explore an area of interest.  

 

All Maine Forest Collaborative students are experiencing real-world, relevant learning opportunities, bringing them closer to understanding the careers available in our rural forest-based communities, and developing the skills necessary for success in those careers.    

 

 

VISION