Cathedral Grove is an old growth forest in British Columbia. Some of the trees here are more then 800 years old. There are giant Douglas firs, one measuring 9 metres in circumference, and groves of ancient Western red cedar. This is a place where I’d be willing to wrap myself around a tree to save it from being cut down.
It’s a provincial park now so it is protected and there are trails through it that everyone can take. But it used to belong to a wealthy logger by the name of H. R. MacMillan and “tree huggers” (although they weren’t called that in those days) were nervous that he’d cut the trees down. After a lot of protest Mr. MacMillan decided to donate 136 hectares of forest to the province for everyone to enjoy.
It’s not only loggers who take down trees. Nature does too. More than 300 years ago a fire destroyed many trees but also encouraged new growth. A severe windstorm in 1997 toppled hundreds of huge trees and some of the fallen trees still lie on the ground.
Trees are important because they produce oxygen; people and animals need oxygen. Trees also take in carbon dioxide, which is harmful. Different species of wildlife make this forest their home: insects, woodpeckers, deer and black bear, to name a few.
This is a place worth hugging.
Cathedral Grove, aka MacMillan Park, is on Vancouver Island, 25 km west of Qualicum Beach and 16 km east of Port Alberni on Hwy #4.
By Sylvia Fanjoy
Photo credits Riding the buses™
© Riding the buses™ 2015