............THE FOREST






“The Shape of Things to Come”

What 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 Granville Island.
....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 Forest Centre.
....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


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is operated to turn out table legs of alder. They feel and compare the different colors of lumber boards on display and they watch a glass display case of spruce bud-worms coming out of their larvae.
....They are shown the uses of logging equipment, fire-fighting equipment, safety equipment and they are told how it all works. It’s such an adventure for so many people that they write in the guest book – “fantastic,” “super,” “loved it,” “I’ve been here six times” – and they sign their names – Reno Newton from Maui, Hawaii, Verna and Don Simpson, from Kelowna, Carolyn Rinaldi, from Zurich, Switzerland, the Kelmans from Auckland.
....It’s a show for all – for all ages – all types. There are even free movies of how the Mosquito aircraft were built from Sitka Spruce during World War II – and the wonderful color film ‘Spar-tree,” showing how the bygone wooden spar trees were topped by the high rigger – that is a real winner with young people.
....The young exhibitors keep a pretty busy schedule all day, particularly on Saturdays and Sundays. As men-tioned, the show is closed Mondays – but the newest ‘in thing’ for forestry business meetings is for small groups, such as committees, or boards of directors, to have their luncheon or dinner meetings in the Exfo display area on Mondays.
....One chairman of the board of a large B. C. corporation told me their directors meeting was a real success when held at Exfo on a Monday luncheon. “It gave our board a won-derful atmosphere of forestry to think in.” If your group would be interested, I’m sure Peter Anderson would be delighted to co-operate.
....The shape of things to come – a small forestry exhibit called Exfo, on a busy throughfare called Granville Island – where people young and old come face-to-face with ‘involved’ people, who delight in telling them about forests, forestry and forestry people. As Diana Fraser of Leeds, England, wrote in the great book – “very, very interesting and informative.”
....That is precisely what the Forest Centre is all about – to be informative and interesting in telling the story of forestry. You’ll come now!

Keep out of the bight,

Bill Moore