Expanding Our Roots
Selkirk College Plants Its One Millionth Tree
John Adams, founder of Selkirk's Forest Technology program and first chair of the department, received the honour of planting Selkirk College's one millionth tree. Photo courtesy of Selkirk College
On May 14, 2010, Selkirk College in Castlegar, BC celebrated the planting of their one millionth tree seedling.
With the Forest Technology program entering its 45th year this September, past and present students, faculty of the college, representatives from the Ministry of Forests and Range, local forest industry representatives, as well as other supporters gathered and took a walk through the forested grounds to the site where the tree would be planted.
John Adams, founder of the Forest Technology program at Selkirk and first chair of the department, received the honour of planting the one millionth tree. “There’s nothing like going through a plantation that you helped plant 40 years ago. There is a legacy that has been left on these grounds and in our province,” said Adams.
Students and staff of the Forest Technology program have been planting trees on contract since 1966. The first few planting projects were completed on the college grounds that surround the Castlegar campus where you can now find Douglas fir trees that are 18 metres tall.
In the 70’s and 80’s, planting projects took students and staff from Macmillan Bloedel and Crown Zellerbach operations in Courtney, Campbell River and Duncan on Vancouver Island, to Coleman, Alberta, with Revelstoke Companies Ltd. and many other places in between.
From the 90’s to the present, Forest Technology students have planted trees closer to home on Selkirk College’s own woodlot and private lands, in the Blueberry Paulson and Fruitvale areas with Atco Wood Products, near Nelson and Castlegar with Kalesnikoff Lumber Company, with Springer Creek Forest Products in the Slocan Valley, with Woodlot Licensees (Greg and Bob Sahlstrom and Brent Petrick) and with the Ministry of Forests and Range in the Arrow Boundary Forest District.
Dean of the School of Renewable Resources and former instructor of the Forest Technology program, Rhys Andrews, is thankful for the opportunities offered by organizations and companies throughout the years. “We want to thank the organizations who have supported the planting projects and the incredible learning that occurs,” he said. “Our program and the land are better because of them.”
The college’s next goal is to have its two millionth tree planted by 2050.
For more information on the Forest Technology program at Selkirk College, call 1.888.953.1133 ext. 378, or visit www.selkirk.ca/rr.
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