Saturday, 4 September 2010

Pearson Postcards (6): 1,000 Acres

Thirty years ago, the Pearson College forestry service was involved in a project that we called “1,000 Acres”. The “thousand acres” reference was to the amount of land (more or less) that the YMCA had at Camp Thunderbird, a kid’s summer camp. Under the guidance of a volunteer forester, Mark Atherton, we spent many a Saturday out cutting down trees on the YMCA land. The plan was to thin out the trees so that the ones left would be able to grow faster and healthier. Trees do not grow over night, so it would take years to see any benefit from our work. As soon as I signed up for the 30th reunion, I started working on a 30th “1,000 Acres” reunion!

I dropped a note to Brian Haddon and John Pineau at the Forestry Chronicle to see if they could track down the article that Mark co-wrote in 1981 on the project. Within 24 hours, they had found it and e-mailed it out to me! The two-page article is below and will give you a good idea about what the project was all about. If you have trouble reading them, go here and here (also here and here) to see larger versions.

Scanned Document

the forestry chronicle index copy

Deanna Cuthbert tracked down Mark and Mark went back to Camp Thunderbird to see if he could locate the areas where we had worked. He found them, and we arranged to meet him and Brian Domney at Pearson. Brian is writing about the project in the Metchosin local news. “We” were Karin, Janice, and Carolyn, shown here with Mark in the parking lot of Camp Thunderbird.

We hiked a short ways up the trail to where we used to work. The trees are noticeably further apart than when we worked, and I would never have found the area on my own.

Mark pointed out one of the stumps from a tree we had felled 30 years ago.

He also took a core sample from one of the remaining trees so we could see if there has been any positive affect due to our work.

You cannot see from this photo, but the growth rings in this tree are more widely spaced starting about 30 rings (or years) back. This would seem to indicate that the work done did indeed have a positive affect.

The remaining trees grew faster because fewer trees means less competition for the resources necessary for life, starting with the available light up in the forest canopy. Mark’s opinion on the current state of the forest is that there could be even more work done to thin things out a bit more.

After a pause to celebrate our work with a “rock group” pose, we were off further up the trail.

We reached the look out, where we did take advantage of the view before returning down the trail and to a nice cold beer at the 17 Mile House Pub.

Pearson Postcards (7) is here.
Pearson Postcards (6) is here
Pearson Postcards (5) is here.
Pearson Postcards (4) is here.
Pearson Postcards (3) is here.
Pearson Postcards (2) is here.
Pearson Postcards (1) is here.

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