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Aleza Lake Research Forest: Learning Resource

Grade 8-10: Environmental Inquiry (Social Science) - Outdoor

Environmental Inquiry - Online and Outdoor Activities


How do our decisions change the world around us? What is agency? How much agency do human beings have over the space around us? How does nature and the environment have agency over us? Discuss physical and emotional agency (ie. Does the weather change your mood? Does it matter whether you walk or drive to school?)

Aleza Lake Research Forest (ALRF)

Look up the Aleza Lake Research Forest Society (ALRFS) using Google or browse the website and look through their photographs. The ALRF has a history over 100 years long. In the early 1920s, the Aleza Lake Forest Experiment Station was built about 60km east of Prince George

  • What does the Aleza Lake Research Forest Society do?
  • How do you know? 

Read the following excerpt from Ralph Schmidt’s book about the Aleza Lake Forest Experiment Station (pages 3-5). The entirety of The Aleza Lake Experiment Station (1920's and 1930's) by Ralph Schmidt is available to read online

There were two main objectives:
  • to demonstrate sustained yield forestry at a practical level; and 
  • to conduct research, especially of factors influencing natural regeneration after logging. 
In order to begin the establishment of a demonstration forest, an accurate forest inventory was essential. A four-man survey crew tackled the job in 1925…Percy Barr wasted no time in placing Aleza Lake Experiment Station on the map. By the fall of 1925 there were sufficient tent facilities to accommodate and feed over 40 people. In October, a training school was held for the rangers of the Prince Rupert arid Fort George forest districts. Instruction was provided by Percy Barr and Ernest Manning, as well as the District Foresters of the two northern forest districts.
The pace of activities at Aleza Lake was stepped up during the summer of 1926. The forest inventory was completed by two recent forestry graduates, Frred Elley and Joe Falconer, assisted by two compassmen…Over the next four years, the Aleza Lake station became a hive of activity as a consequence of Barr's ability to generate support. The Research Division staff was tripled and the funding allocation increased to the point where it equaled that of the Dominion Forest Service research budget for all of Canada.

Was the ALRF created to respond to nature or to change nature? Discuss. 

Does the ALRF affect the environment? 


Forestry is an important industry in our local area. Why? What characteristics of Prince George make forestry important to our economy? How is this connected to our identity? 

Approximately 1,200 people lived in Prince George in the early 1920s. How many people live in Prince George today (you may look up the answer)? What are some reasons for the rise in population?

Discuss living standards: How does nature affect the way you live? Do you use nature for recreation? Does that make your life better? How does nature affect the lives of people living in different countries? 

Outdoor Activity & Reflection

Go for a walk outside with a pen and paper:

  • Write 5 things in your immediate environment that you believe has an impact on your daily life
  • Write 5 aspects of your environment that you believe affects you 
  • Draw a mind map/diagram to show your relationship with your environment (Google images of mind maps if you need some ideas)
  • EXTENSION: Write 3-5 sentences about how you feel the environment makes your life better or worse. Use evidence from your walk as a source for your knowledge.

Learning Intention & Core Competencies

Learning Intention: Learners will understand how human and environmental factors shape changes in population and living standards.

Core Competency Focus - Personal Awareness and Responsibility: I can seek out experiences that make me feel happy and proud. I can express my wants and needs and celebrate my efforts and accomplishments. I have some strategies that help me recognize and manage my feelings and emotions. I recognize and can explain my role in learning activities and explorations, and I can give some evidence of my learning. I can describe how some specific choices can affect my well-being and participate in activities that support my well-being.

Big Ideas: Human and environmental factors shape changes in population and living standards (Social Studies 8). Collective identity is constructed and can change over time (Social Studies 9). Worldviews lead to different perspectives and ideas about developments in Canadian society (Social Studies 10).