is forestry? Well, it’s a lot
of things to a lot of people. To the general reader of this magazine,
the involved, forestry is a job, a career, or possibly a potential buyer
of goods – and of course, we have some charming readers who simply
like to keep informed. Hooray for the charming!
....Down at the offices of the Forest Centre
Project on Granville Island, in the heart of Vancouver, the word “forestry”
is being used by a whole new group of people – and they love it!
....The new people referred to, are the
young, the tourists, the Granville Island shoppers – in other
words, the real public. These are not the “involved” –
but of course, with a province like Bri-tish Columbia, so dependent
on trees, it’s little wonder that so many visitors to this people
place have friends or relatives involved with the forests or forestry.
....A little history, my friends –
the Forest Centre Project is the pride and joy of a small group of “involved”
people who form the B.C. Forest Foundation. For the past three-and-one-half
years this group has been working toward building a Forest Centre in
the heart of downtown Vancouver, that will tell the story of forests
– forestry – and all things related to forests. It’s
a big project and has required a great deal of planning and patience.
....The site of the Centre will be a waterfront
area in the heart of the city, known as B.C. Place. On about 71 hectares
of the choicest real estate in Canada, will arise, from what was formerly
C.P.R. railroad yards, a density of buildings, walkways, hotels, offices,
parks and a World’s Fair for transportation in 1986.
....At the present time (and for the past
couple of years) the offices
of the future Forest Centre have been located in one of Vancouver’s
newest and busiest shopping and marina areas known as Granville Island.
Here, the federal government has converted what was once a heavy industrial
area of waterfront into a thriving marketplace for shoppers and tourists.
....While the detailed planning for the future
Forest Centre goes on daily, the small staff of the project, led by director
Peter Anderson, have built a preview area of the Forest Centre right into
their office space and taken advantage of the heavy people traffic of
....About 140 square meters of floor space
have turned a working office into an exciting exhibit of wood, forests
and forest industry. A summer staff of dedi-cated students teach the public
how to make pulp, how to plant a tree, how to top a spar-tree and how
to fight forest fires.
....It’s fun to watch the stream of
people (over 40,000 in the past year) milling about the exhibits –
asking questions, touching things and showing interest in things wood.
It is the shape of things to come on a far larger scale at the future
....I’m sure I’ve written on
these pages before, of the mystique of forestry that is held by the general
public. What does a logger do? How do they make products like plywood,
pulp and shingles? Does logging ruin all the salmon streams? What was
a high rigger?
....The preview of the Forest Centre is called
Exfo. It goes on daily except Mondays. It’s there to take some of
the mystery out of forestry.
....A day at Exfo goes something like this:
The doors open at 9:00 a.m. in the morning and the staff arrive. Today
will see Dorothy, Maralyn and Elizabeth
showing and explaining exhibits. The six summer students (the others
are Karen, Scott and Linda) have been well schooled in their work by
one of the finest forestry teachers in Canada – Victor Heath.
....About 9:30, the first of the Granville
Island tourists wander in – three teenage boys. One of the boys
spots the computerized forest fire screen and sits down to see if he
can save B.C. from a devastating forest fire. It takes quick wits and
busy fingers at the buttons to do so and his chums laughingly tell him
that he has just burned up half of the province.
....A mother and two children come in and
ask Maralyn about the push button quiz on forestry. The mother sits
at one of the machines and her children are interested to see if Mom
knows ‘true or false’ about some forestry questions. At
10:00 a.m., a group of fifteen day-care children arrive with two young
ladies looking after them. These groups come by appointment and there
are several such groups each day. Dorothy meets this group and explains
the show to the young ladies, then tales the group over to the pulp
making exhibit. Here she tells the children how pulp is made, by showing
them – then letting them feel the soggy pulp; the press that takes
the water out of the pulp and finally; the end product. The children
are eager to feel and turn and press and watch the product actually
made in front of them.
....The children and the tourists from
every land, fully understand what Dorothy and the other young exhibitors
are saying – for the language used is directed so they understand.
No big words – lots of ‘see it, feel it, smell it.’
....The day goes on and the people wander
in and about the exhibits. They watch as the giant treadle wood-lathe