It started during a cold winter
It was during the wild winter of 2015 that the giving tree fell. Just past the bridge in the central Walbran valley, where the logging road stops, a massive thousand year old red cedar had toppled over in a wind storm. The sad sight of this fallen giant was fitting for a difficult, disheartening year; the weather was exceptionally cold and wet, the government had just approved the first cut block on the north side of the valley, Teal Jones was cutting in earnest on the south side, and the RCMP was enforcing an injunction that dismantled a blockade of land defenders. Against the backdrop of this fallen tree, our story began.
Under the guidance and tutelage of the Friends of Carmanah Walbran (FoCW), a few of us began working on the trails that wove through the valley. After many years of underuse, the trails were overgrown and the original boardwalk had fallen in disrepair. For the next three years we worked alongside the FoCW to reopen the original trails, and used the wood from the giving tree to repair and rebuild the boardwalks.
The projects would bring in many volunteers and friends and sparked the genesis for kilometres of new boardwalk, trails, and eventually the Coastal Trail Collective. The Collective is shaped by everyone who loves our ancient forests, and by those who feel inspired to lend a hand. If you’ve swam through the Emerald Pool, or walked through the Castle Grove and thought “this place shouldn’t be logged and I want to do something tangible to help”, than we’ll help put a hammer in your hand and show you how to keep these trails open for generations to come.
Trails built by a community and a community built by trails
Since it’s inception, the Coastal Trail Collective has received indispensable help from the Friends of Carmanah Walbran (FoCW). The FoCW has been involved in the Walbran for over 30 years, and because of them over 16 000 hectares of original forest in the Carmanah and Walbran valley were protected from logging. The Coastal Trail Collective would not exist without the FoCW’s continued support.
The Friends of Carmanah Walbran have helped with tools, knowledge, labour, moral support, and hardware. We want to make it clear that the CTC see’s itself as working along side this foundational group by expanding its ability to manage and watch over the Walbran.