• Photo: Matt Zambonin/CRA Events

Canadians now have a novel way of exploring the boreal forest — with a new Canadian Geographic Education giant floor map, which kicked off its crosscountry tour on Oct. 2 at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa.

The 11-by-8-metre Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement map was created in partnership with the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement Secretariat. As part of the secretariat’s On the Move campaign, the map will spend the next year touring Canadian schools and communities.

“Few issues in Canada are as vast and as vital as the boreal forest,” said John Geiger, chief executive officer of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society, at the event’s cocktail reception, which followed an earlier session where local students (above) explored the map. “The map encourages students to take a walk in the woods and consider questions from conservation to biofuels. In the process, they’ll strengthen their critical thinking skills and become more spatially and geographically literate.”

Aran O’Carroll, the secretariat’s executive director, said the map provides the opportunity to reach out “not just to decision-makers but to youth, and ensure they understand and appreciate the boreal forest and the challenges found there.”

For information about the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement map’s next stop (and about other giant floor maps), visit education.canadiangeographic.ca.