Arborist Matthew Beatty surveys a stack of hemlock trees that blew down in the Lower Avatar Grove.

Avatar Grove boardwalk damaged by windstorm

Lower grove closed until trail clearing and boardwalk repairs can be done

Winter storm damage has closed a portion of Port Renfrew’s famed Avatar Grove and delayed the opening of a recently completed boardwalk.

Hurricane-force winds ripped through the area on Oct. 15 resulting in 30 trees crashing down over the Avatar Grove Trail in the lower grove area, damaging sections of the boardwalk.

None of the grove’s famed ancient Western redcedars or Douglas fir fell during the storm.

The Ancient Forest Alliance completed the boardwalk a week before the storm, in a project that took three years and involved hundreds of volunteers.

“After anticipating the launch of the boardwalk’s completion, this is undoubtedly a bit of a disappointment and set back, but it’s only temporary,” said TJ Watt, the Ancient Forest Alliance’s coordinator of the boardwalk project.

The Ancient Forest Alliance began construction of the Avatar Grove Boardwalk in 2013 to protect the tree roots and understory vegetation from excessive trampling, enhance visitor access and safety, and support the local eco-tourism economy.

Volunteers will work on the boardwalk over the fall and winter with an eye to reopening next spring.

The entrance to the lower Avatar Grove has been cordoned with no public access while the upper grove boardwalk remains open and in “decent condition,” Watt said.

A 20-minute drive from Port Renfrew, the Avatar Grove is one of the most spectacular and easily accessible stands of monumental old-growth trees in B.C., protected in 2012. Thousands of tourists from around the world now come to visit the Avatar Grove, hugely bolstering the regional economy with so-called Tall Tree Tourism.

“The Avatar Grove boardwalk’s real significance is to serve as an example for other communities that protecting old-growth forests is good for the economy, hugely supporting local businesses and jobs,” said Ken Wu, the Ancient Forest Alliance’s executive director.

“The Avatar Grove has been the most important catalyst in the movement to B.C.’s endangered old-growth forests in recent times.”

 

 

Just Posted

Pot regulation hazy for Sooke businesses

Sooke stores will continue to operate after Oct. 17

Smoking pot? Your dentist wants to know

Vancouver dentist and cannabis researcher shares oral health concerns of marijuana

Bizarre accident sends vehicle into water

Elderly Sooke resident involved in an accident in his driveway

Fall-ing for unseasonably warm weather in Victoria

Environment Canada forecast calls for sunshine through weekend

Wait times for ICBC road tests increase in Victoria

Increase has no connection with tests becoming more challenging: ICBC

Naked man jumping into Toronto shark tank a ‘premeditated’ stunt: official

The man swam in a tank at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada

Advance voting begins Oct. 10 in Greater Victoria

The polls open at 8 a.m. for the 2018 municipal election with the general election taking place Oct. 20

Find your future at Black Press career fair in Victoria

More than 70 booths expected at Bay Street Armoury on Oct. 25

BCTF wins grievance over teacher shortage in public schools

Arbitrator found Chilliwack school district did not hire enough on-call teachers or librarians

Mt. Washington to open ZipTour

Multi-stage zipline is largest summer investment in resort’s history

Workers at BC Interior mill strike as negotiations resume in Kelowna

Picket lines went up at 4 a.m Tuesday, Oct. 16 at Tolko Lakeview Division in Williams Lake

Toronto Police ID B.C. man as naked shark tank jumper

David Weaver, of Nelson, is wanted on mischief and assault charges

In Florida, families seeking the missing amid storm damage

Five days after the hurricane slammed into the Florida Panhandle, people are struggling to locate friends and loved ones.

Prince Harry and Meghan start Aussie tour with baby gifts

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are on a 16-day tour of Australia and the South Pacific.

Most Read