(North Bay, ON, May 14, 2019)  A unique blend of story telling, science, and environmental education kicks off Saturday, May 25 at 9:45 am with the launch of Forest Talk Radio, a smart phone application you can download and listen to while you walk the orange and white trails at Laurier Woods Conservation Area.

“This is an intimate radio experience, one that will leave you thinking humans have more in common with trees than you ever thought possible” says David Merleau, the media artist, performance storyteller and audio documentary producer who created the Forest Talk application.

With site-specific data collected from the North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority (NBMCA), and inspiration from Fred Pinto, an internationally recognized forester and president of Friends of the Laurier Woods, the smartphone application turns a fungus into a radio show host who uses a story telling format to share information about the tree ecology in Laurier Woods.

“Storytelling and forests are part of many cultural traditions around the globe.  The Forest Talk Radio application is a fun and creative way to experience the natural heritage of Laurier Woods.  It’s a new way to explore and learn, thanks to David Merleau whose passion for the woods and his craft create an amazing experience for us all,” said Sue Buckle, Manager of Communications and Outreach at NBMCA.

When hikers enter Laurier Woods at the Brule Street trailhead, they can download the application for their iphone using a QR code on a sign posted at the trailhead or through Google Play if they have an android phone.  From there, the application picks up the signal using gps and smartphone technology.  The walk takes about an hour.  Just bring your smartphone and your earbuds.

Forest Talk Radio is a project supported by North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority, Friends of Laurier Woods, Near North Mobile Media Lab, Chrisdanat Management Ltd.,  and funded by the Ontario Arts Council.

Information is available on www.foresttalkradio.ca

David is the Manager of the Storytellers of Canada Radio and Podcast Program, a ShortDoc producer with the Third Coast Audio Festival, and has had audio docs featured on CBC's Morning North with Marcus Schwabe. With a diploma in Radio Broadcasting, a degree in Philosophy and Biology, and a Master's Degree in Ethics and Technology, David pursues a creative existence in North Bay Ontario.   

The North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority was founded in 1972 by the Province of Ontario and its 10 member municipalities. A non-profit organization, the NBMCA works closely with the public to balance human needs with environmental needs throughout the region’s watershed. The NBMCA is one of 36 Conservation Authorities who are members of Conservation Ontario.

You can follow NBMCA on facebook.com/NBMCA, twitter @theNBMCA,  Instagram nbmcainfo and website www.nbmca.ca.     Learn more about the Friends of  Laurier Woods at www.laurierwoods.com.



Sue Buckle, Manager, Communications and Outreach (705) 474-5420

David Merleau, Creator of Forest Talk Radio  (613) 797-3762