Forests Forever officially unveiled at Duncan’s BC Forest Discovery Centre

Harmac’s Cam Milne surveys part of the new Forests Forever exhibit at the BC Forest Discovery Centre, which opened Wednesday. (Warren Goulding/Citizen)
Alf Carter, board member of the BC Forest Discovery Centre, speaks at the opening of the Forests Forever exhibit. (Warren Goulding/Citizen)
Chris Gale, general manager of the BC Forest Discovery Centre speaks at the opening of the Forests Forever exhibit. (Warren Goulding/Citizen)
A big crowd awaits the grand opening of the Forests Forever exhibit at the BC Forest Discovery Centre on Wednesday in Duncan. (Warren Goulding/Citizen)

The BC Forest Discovery Centre has played a vital role in showcasing the history of the forestry industry.

But Chris Gale, general manager of the Centre, suggests the facility has not been as effective in communicating what is happening now or what the future will look like.

“Our mandate is to show the past, present and future and the newest (piece of equipment) we had was from 1978,” Gale explained at a gathering marking the official opening of the Centre’s Forests Forever exhibit.

Joined by forestry industry leaders, politicians, investors and supporters of the $1.3 million project that has been more than two years in the development stage, Gale called the unveiling on Wednesday “a momentous event” as the Discovery Centre enters a new era.

“We are updating and revitalizing our message and the new exhibit is just fantastic.”

The exhibit area features new, immersive and interactive exhibits that follow the life cycle of a tree from seedling to finished product. The project also included revitalization of the museum entry and façade, and new technological applications to engage visitors with the outdoor exhibits on the 100-acre property that is located in North Cowichan, just north of Duncan.

Ladysmith mayor Aaron Stone, representing Island Coastal Economic Trust, said the organization’s $400,000 investment in the project was money well-spent.

“This is important to the entire region,” Stone said. “This is an anchor piece and it’s important for the younger generation to see that forestry is vital and has evolved greatly.

“This will enhance visibility and the importance of forestry for students, forestry workers and visitors from outside the region,” Stone said.

Traffic at the BC Forest Discovery Centre has been increasing steadily, climbing from 29,000 annual visitors four years ago to 60,000 this year. Gale expects the number to hit 75,000 now that Forests Forever is open.

Alf Carter, president of the BC Forest Discovery Centre board of directors, said the completion of the Forests Forever vision was a “huge leap” for the Centre.

“This will change the footprint of the facility. It is absolutely incredible. We are seeing the technology of the 2019 era and where is there a better place to see the innovations that are taking place in the forestry industry?

“This is a great day for the BC Forest Discovery Centre.”

North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring praised the Centre for its efforts in expanding the story of forestry in the Cowichan Valley.

“We’re having an important discussion right now about forest management and it’s all about sustainability,” Siebring said.

“We were built on this industry.”

Funding for the Forests Forever project came from a number of sources including Western Forest Products, TimberWest, the Truck Loggers Association, Harmac, Sustainable Forestry Initiative and others.

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Tofino beachgoers ‘horrified’ by jet-skis in surf zone

Online video of Sea-Doo operating within 50 metres of neophyte surfers causes alarm

Langford teens reunited with family after rescue near Chemainus

Friends spent night in missing truck, spotted by RCMP helicopter

Indigenous man behind complaint of BC Transplant’s alcohol abstinence policy has died

David Dennis, who is Nuu-chah-nulth, argued that six-month sobriety policy is a ‘lethal form of racism’

Laid-off hotel workers demanding the right to return to work at Victoria protest

Businesses in accommodation and food sector report laying off 80 per cent of workforce

UPDATE: More details released on search for missing Vancouver Island hiker

Searchers scouring Strathcona Park near Gold River for experienced 65-year-old on 40-kilometre trek

Horrifying video shows near head-on collision on Trans Canada

The video was captured on dash cam along Highway 1

COVID-19: B.C. promotes video-activated services card

Mobile app allows easier video identity verification

Nanaimo RCMP arrest four, seize drugs and $19K in “problem house” search

Home was subject of numerous complaints of drug trafficking, theft and disturbances

Victoria woman loses $2,500 to scammer spoofing VicPD phone number

VicPD warns against sharing personal information, sending money to strangers

Would you take a COVID-19 vaccine? Poll suggests most Canadians say yes

75 per cent of Canadians would agree to take a novel coronavirus vaccine

VicPD investigating ‘anti-Canadian’ graffiti at Fairfield home

Canada Day items on display vandalized with spray paint

RCMP seek man facing sexual assault charges

Police believe he may be living on central Vancouver Island but also has a history in the Cariboo region

ICBC to resume road tests in July with priority for rebookings, health-care workers

Tests have been on hold for four months due to COVID-19

Budget officer pegs cost of basic income as calls for it grow due to COVID-19

Planned federal spending to date on pandemic-related aid now tops about $174 billion

Most Read