Nipissing University's iLEAD program is proud to have the opportunity to send a team of 11 advanced business students and faculty members for the 5th consecutive year on a special international project to Jamaica. The The trip departs on Sunday, February 14 and returns on Sunday, February 21, 2016. This year, they will be offering consulting work to an Eco-tourism resort called Fern Forest Eco-Village. For more information on iLEAD program, please visit our website.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Day Three

Today was the day that we went to Fern Forest. It was a great learning experience to say the least. The surprises began with the first moment that we stepped on the property. The terrain was steep because the location is built along the side of a mountainside. It was not the experience anybody was expecting, thus proving the importance of one's field research. This gave us the opportunity to further brainstorm and develop ideas that could be implemented to generate income, of which I will discuss shortly.
After climbing the first hill we went into the first building of which they are currently constructing. The section that they had built was aesthetically pleasing. It was obvious that although not done it had the potential for this room to be quite attractive. From this point, we travelled to the campsite. It was a narrow path, but the potential was there to expand and provide a enjoyable hike to the campground. The campground was well shaded and quite large. We were told that the children's camp that they have operated for for the local children will be up to roughly 70 children this year, this is an increases from about 30 from last year.

After hiking back to the starting building we walked up to where they intended to have the weddings. The walk was quite long and provided the group with great exercise. We discussed many different plants that were native to the area and the different healing abilities of each. When we managed to reach the peak of the mountain the land was uneven and the growing of grass was underway, but the view was immaculate. It truly looked like we were looking over a jungle and the view of the ocean was beautiful. With some landscaping and some floral growth the potential is there to take some beautiful wedding pictures.

With some brainstorming we thought that it could be an interesting business venture to provide donkey rides up the mountain path. It could provide the organization with some income to help them further pursue the future goals of Fern Forest in a short span of time. To conclude, we feel that there is a lot of potential for Fern Forest to become a wonderful attraction for tourists and members of the community, while remaining eco-friendly and operating symbiotically with the environment.

Brenden Benoit 

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