Avatar Grove boardwalk construction to be finished this weekend

4-year project will help promote ecotourism in Port Renfrew

This weekend the boardwalk in the Avatar Grove will finially be finished construction after four years.

For the finishing touches, volunteers with the Ancient Forest Alliance (AFA) will be building a new platform, stairs, steps, and walkways, and install signage, on the major project.

“The Avatar Grove’s real significance is that it serves as an example to other communities that protecting old-growth forests benefits the economy by hugely bolstering local businesses and jobs,” said Ken Wu, executive director of the Ancient Forest Alliance.“In helping to revitalize Port Renfrew’s economy, it has clearly counteracted the old, false narrative that saving old-growth forests harms the local economy. The Avatar Grove and its boardwalk have been the most important catalyst for B.C.’s ancient forest movement in recent times and have helped to shape the fate of endangered forests across the province.”

The Avatar Grove, located about 20 minutes from Port Renfrew, is home to one of the most spectacular and easily accessible stands of monumental old-growth trees in B.C. and has become among B.C.’s most popular old-growth forest tourism destinations.

The AFA explained that old-growth forests are vital to sustaining endangered species, climate stability, tourism, clean water, wild salmon, and the cultures of many First Nations.

“It’s a magical landscape,” said TJ Watt, Ancient Forest Alliance (AFA) boardwalk coordinator. “You have ancient Red Cedars and Douglas Firs that can be over 500 years old with trunks as wide as 14ft in diametre, with huge alien shaped burrows growing off the trees, and moss and furns all around.”

On BC’s southern coast, satellite photos show that at least 75% of the original, productive old-growth forests have been logged, including well over 90% of the valley bottoms where the largest trees grow. Only about 8% of Vancouver Island’s original, productive old-growth forests are protected in parks and Old-Growth Management Areas.

“Port Renfrew has branded itself as the tall-tree capital of Canda so the more accessable that Avatar Grove is to visitors the more people will come and visit the town and maybe stay at a bed and breakfast. It shows that protection of old growth forests can actually be good for the economy rather than hinder it.”

Old-growth forests have trees up to 2,000 years old and are a non-renewable resource under B.C.’s system of forestry, where as second-growth forests are re-logged every 50 to 100 years, never become old-growth again.

Watt explained that the Avatar Grove was originally an area that was supposed to be logged, but now it has been protected and will help the economy in Port Renfrew by increasing ecotourism.

“I’m excited every time I go there, and the almost the minute we get a project finshed a group of poeple walks by and says thanks so there’s a real tangable reward in building these different projects. I’m excited to experience this ancient forest first-hand and have an enjoyable time while doing it,” said Watt. “It’s like a window back in time.”

 

Just Posted

Man dies after fall from Johnson Street Bridge

Man climbed railing of the Johnson Street Bridge, lost his balance and fell into the water below

VicPD notify public of sexual assault with weapon in Esquimalt

Officers ask residents to be vigilant while investigation continues

Local fundraising initiative addresses tampon recall

Period Posse checking donations during 10-day campaign

VIATEC’s 2018 “Startup of the Year” heads to Vegas for global spotlight

Victoria-based boat security company Barnacle Systems set for Consumer Electronics Show

Surprise coming to elderly Esquimalt woman who had $1,100 stolen from purse

Man had bumped into her while she was shopping, next thing she knew, the money was gone

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

Of the 105 current senators, 54 are now independents who have banded together in Independent Senators’ Group

Boeser has 2 points as Canucks ground Flyers 5-1

WATCH: Vancouver has little trouble with slumping Philly side

B.C. animation team the ‘heart’ of new ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’

The animators, largely based in Vancouver, ultimately came up with a creative technique that is drawing praise

Light at the end of the tunnel for UN climate talks

Meeting in Katowice was meant to finalize how countries report their emissions of greenhouses gases

Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, Nicks join Rock Hall of Fame

Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies will also be ushered in at the 34th induction ceremony

Supreme Court affirms privacy rights for Canadians who share a computer

Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Canadians against unreasonable search and seizure

‘Ghost bikes’ installed to remember teen cyclists who died in Port Alberni

Cycle Alberni installs memorials to remember teens, remind all about road safety

‘I practically begged’: Kootenay woman with breast cancer denied referral to Calgary

Breast cancer patient left to fight disease alone after being denied referral to Calgary

21 detained before Paris protests as police deploy in force

There was a strong police presence outside the central Saint Lazare train station, where police in riot gear checked bags

Most Read