Kyoto Model Forest Association participates in “Yui-net Kyoto”. Yui-net Kyoto is a group promoted by the Kyoto Prefectural Board of Education, which a wide range of group participants including bar associations, newspaper publishing companies, soccer clubs and varieties of administrative agencies within Kyoto prefecture carry out in-school educational training sessions for students. Within the framework of the group’s activities, in October and November 2015, Kyoto Model Forest visited Muko City Katuyama Junior High School to help the first grade students’ learning at the request of the school.
The objective of their learning was to research, discuss, and learn on a self-motivated basis under the theme of “A town full of nature –how should we interact with nature?”
At the class held on Friday, October 23th, Mr. Shinobe, the president of Kyoto Forest Instructors Association, who is a registered member of “Human Resource Agency of Forest”, delivered a lecture to the students on the state of Japanese forest and various functions of forests. Next, on Friday, November 6th, we interviewed Mr. Tanaka, the president of Council for Promotion of Bamboo Industry of Muko City, at the bamboo grove managed by the Council.
In Kyoto, bamboo shoots farming business, which was a highly profitable business, has flourished after the World War Ⅱ, and as a result, bamboos (in particular, moso bamboos) have been widely planted there. In recent years, however, more and more bamboo groves have been left uncared due to an increase of imported bamboo shoots, a decrease in the use of bamboo products, and a decline in the number of successors and so forth. Roots of bamboos left uncared spread around and consequently prevent trees in the area from growing in abundance. Also, sunlight gets blocked by bamboos to the extent that many plants are finally driven to death because they are shorter than bamboos in height (quoted from the Website of Kyoto Prefectural Government).
The students eagerly asked questions such as “Why do we have many moso bamboos in Muko City?”, “Why more bamboo groves are left uncared?” At the end of November, the representatives of the students gave a presentation on their learning outcomes to the mayor of Muko City. Kyoto Model Forest Association endeavors to provide an ongoing help for young generation like them in gaining knowledge about local forests and natural environment.