The Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources tweeted a message of acknowledgement celebrating National Forest Week (September 18-24) and the importance of forest industry to the hundreds of thousands of Canadians who work, play and enjoy the many benefits of our renewable, natural forests.

At TimberWest we were thrilled to echo the Minister’s message by participating in several community events for all ages across Vancouver Island showcasing the benefits of sustainable forest management.

national-forest-week-pic1Our lead up to National Forest Week began in early September with a presentation to the Educators and staff at Strathcona Park Lodge in preparation for their busy school-field trip season where hundreds of kids from grade 6 to grade 12 get to experience environmental stewardship, outdoor activities, and leadership development. “Seeing the staff and Educators engaged, and learning about harvesting cycles and reforestation plans was really thrilling. The students coming through the doors in the next little while will get a balanced and fair education about sustainable forest management and how forestry, adventure, and stewardship can co-exist on Vancouver Island,” says Jamie Boulding, President of Strathcona Park Lodge & Outdoor Education Centre.

national-forest-week-pic2Following this educational session, we worked with the BC Forest Discovery Museum in Duncan to promote National Forest Week over the weekend of September 17 and 18th. The first 600 kids through the doors of the museum received a free seedling provided by Western Forest Products, and stations were set-up where kids could learn about forest habitats and the science behind sustainable forest management. The bonus for the kids was that the museum kept the train running all weekend log with unlimited train rides! Meanwhile, in Campbell River TimberWest co-hosted a booth with Western Forest Products on sustainable forest management at the Pier St. market and handed out seedlings to local shoppers and members of the community.

On Tuesday September 20th, our Chief Forester and Vice President of Sustainability, Domenico Iannidinardo spoke at DEMO International® where he got to share insights about “Canada’s Forest Sector-Adapting To A New Reality.

national-forest-week-pic3Wednesday, September 21st marked National Tree Day. We were running full steam ahead at the McLean Mill National Historic Site where over 300 Grade five students climbed aboard the steam train for an adventurous day at the historic mill. The kids got a fully interactive outdoor learning experience that included a forestry tour, a presentation by Domenico Iannidanardo, Chief Forester TimberWest and Shannon Jenzen Chief Forester Western Forest Products, a look at fisheries and ecosystems, and a wildfire suppression station with water-hose relays. The Mayor of Port Alberni City Hall came by to check out the festivities which included a demo of the oldest working 1929 “steam donkey” logging machine that happens to be the only one in operation in all of #Canada. Everyone received a high-flying surprise from E&B Helicopters with a water heli-drop showcasing wildfire safety in BC. Smokey the Bear was there and very impressed by the day’s events.

Once the day was done, everyone walked away with a swag-bag of goodies that included either a red or yellow cedar seedling ready to be taken home and planted on #NationalTreeDay.

Thursday September 22nd, we co-hosted a field trip with the Regional District of Nanaimo for students learning about watershed management. The kids got to learn about the Englishman River and how TimberWest and the Regional District work together to help manage the watershed resource.

Friday September 23rd, the City of Nanaimo, TimberWest and Island Timberlands co-hosted a bus full of interested community members and toured them through the Nanaimo River Watershed. The tour included stops at the Jump Lake Reservoir, Nanaimo Water Treatment Plant, and local forestry operations to learn about the role forest companies play in the co-management and protection of the local watershed.

The weekend of September 24th marks a truly exciting national experience, as the Royal Family comes to visit BC. Celebrations begin in Victoria, and the Royals will then travel to see the Great Bear Rainforest, a region rich with history focused on the benefits of collaboration between forest companies, environmentalists, First Nations and the government. We are thrilled that this year’s National Forest Week theme True North Strong and Green can be celebrated around the world with this historic Royal visit!

Thank you to all our local communities, partners and staff for making this year’s National Forest Week a success across Vancouver Island, BC and all of Canada.

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