March Nature Study Day; a study in detritus!

On March 3, the Forest Tribe gathered for a walk into the springtime sounds of the Children’s Forest!! We were welcomed by golden-crowned kinglets calling from the high canopy and we mimicked the nasal calls of the red-breasted nuthatches by holding our noses and calling out… neep, neep, neep!!!!!!!!!!!

What fun to be a bird, in springtime, in the Children’s Forest!!!

We welcomed some of our newest tribe members to this walk; young Zorah, just 11 months old, peeked out of Mom’s backpack and later happily crawled across the forest floor at the base of the towering Sitka spruce in Grandmother’s Grove. Zorah was completely absorbed in the rich, brown, soft, humusy, crawling, decomposing world of the forest floor detritus!!! Those of us not living s close to the ground anymore, often overlook this critically important ecosystem!

Our Forest Tribe grows annually; our recruitment is awesome… so we are well on our way to securing the Children’s Forest in perpetuity for all Zorah’s to come!!!

Imagine… a forest in trust to the children!!!

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Quadra Outdoors Club Visits the Children’s Forest

Sabina Leader Mense welcomed the Quadra Island Outdoor’s Club members to the Children’s Forest on a beautiful January the 23d!!! Club members rolled in on the first ferry to Whaletown Bay and had their walking poles out and on the trail in no time!!!
It is always exciting to welcome our neighbours from Quadra Island to Cortes Island and especially exciting to share with them the ongoing work of the Forest Trust for the Children of Cortes Island Society (FTCCIS) towards purchase of the Children’s Forest.

We spoke of our strong youth engagement and the youth excitement over the annual BioBlitz’s that FTCCIS sponsors. This year we hope to have even more participation by Quadra Islanders!

We marvelled continuously over the colour… green; so vibrant at this time of year!!! Most people fail to recognize that winter in coastal BC is the GREENEST time of the year!!!

Club members walked home at the end of a great day with a couple of copies of the youth’s fundraising book, Forest Alphabet: Artistic Visions of a Forest in Trust to the Children, where it is written…

G is for green… the colour of Gaia’s glorious garden!!!

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BioBlitz 2018 Video Trailer

The 2018 BioBlitz in the Children’s Forest was a great success! See this post for the full report, and this post for fantastic photos of the event shot by Seamus Summers. Here is a short video trailer from the BioBlitz, courtesy of Island Light Photography.

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BioBlitz 2018 Photos!

This collection of photos, shot by Seamus Summers and Jonah Weyler, captures the wonder of BioBlitz! 2018 in the Children’s Forest. Learn more about Seamus’s photography here. For a full report from the BioBlitz, check out this post, or watch … Continue reading

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… to the great community turnout for BioBlitz 2018!!!

bioblitz 2018 group shot

Close to 100 enthusiastic participants walked into Carrington Bay Park basecamp and explored the Children’s Forest with us over the first weekend in May.  Guest researcher and forest ecologist, Andy MacKinnon, turned all our heads towards a new way of thinking about and seeing our forests. Did you know that 94% of the vascular plants in our forests have mycorrhizae (microscopic fungal filaments) associated with their roots? These mycorrhizal networks can cover acres of land, changing the old ideology of forest competition to one of forest cooperation!!! We have trees on Cortes Island because fungi wrap their roots; this is an obligate relationship!

Youth learned a new word to dazzle their parents with… circinate vernation; right up there with supercalafragalistic; it describes the way a fern fiddlehead uncurls.

We learned about indicator plants, the tallest trees in the world, the beautiful fern-leaved goldthread, the oxymoron of the word saprophyte and how it takes 1000 years to accumulate coarse woody debris.

Most importantly, we learned that we know virtually nothing about the majority of organisms living in our sensitive ecosystems; less than 1% are described. By protecting our sensitive ecosystems, we protect the 99%.

BioBlitz! 2018 moves us ever closer to our goal of purchasing the Children’s Forest and gifting it in perpetuity to all children.
We invite all of you to join us, in - Imagining… a forest in trust to the children!!!

BioBlitz! 2018 was sponsored by the Forest Trust for the Children of Cortes Island Society (FTCCIS).

Checkout this two minute teaser for the upcoming BioBlitz! 2018 documentary short:

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Youth Streamkeepers Spring 2018

IMG_3169Youth streamkeepers were making their way gently down the creek, wild, wet & slippery, and any respectable trout or coho were as far away as possible from the hip-wading youth participating in another youth streamkeeper programme!

Our location was James Creek, flowing into the Children’s Forest. The programme was a joint venture between the Children’s Forest Trust and FOCI Streamkeepers, with thanks to the Vancouver Foundation for some final grant money and Dave Clough, fish biologist extraordinaire.

Two live minnow traps (with appropriate licenses) were set, catching a beautiful 11cm adult cutthroat trout and a large 12.5 cm prickle sculpin in one of the traps. We also scooped up a new sight to our eyes when the pole seine brought in a 15 cm lamprey! Streamkeepers would be interested in hearing if anyone else has seen lamprey in any creeks on Cortes.

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Cortes Wild! exhibit opening at Linnaea Education Center

on site species at risk-barn swallow and pygmy owl

FTCCIS is excited to announce their participation in an exciting new partnership on Cortes Island!!! Cortes Wild! is a partnership initiated by the Cortes Island Museum & Archives Society (CIMAS) to support their new satellite natural history exhibit on Cortes Island.

The Linnaea Farm Society has partnered in and provides the physical facility to house the exhibit at the Linnaea Education Center.

The Friends of Cortes Island Society have partnered in to further their mandate for ecological integrity & community education on Cortes Island.

The Discovery Islands Ecosystem Mapping (DIEM) Project has partnered in to share their recent advances in mapping and remind us of our place within the Discovery Islands.

The Forest Trust for the Children of Cortes Island Society (FTCCIS) has partnered in to integrate Cortes youth into the partnership.

The Cortes Wild! partnership welcomes everyone to come for a visit! Summer hours are: Fridays and Saturdays 10 am to 4 pm.

Check out the awesome natural history displays and curiosity cabinet, try on a species at risk “skin” and delight in the celebration of… Cortes on the wild side!!!

on site species at risk-townsend's big-eared bat

curiosity cabinet

Madame Cladonia-ribbon cutting

western toad guest of honour

decadently wild desserts

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BioBlitz! 2018 & our new Camp Skills Workshop

BioBlitz! 2018… May 4, 5 & 6
Camp Skills Workshop… April 20

In preparation for our Community Campout at Carrington Bay Park campsite, base camp for BioBlitz! 2018, a Camp Skills Workshop will be offered on Friday, April 20 from 3:30 pm to 5:30 pm at the Linnaea Education Center.

Join Ryan Harvey, Bill Wheeler and Richard Andrews to learn how to hone your camp skills! Bring personal gear that you would like to test out, or just come along to take in the demonstrations on site. We’re working to keep our BioBlitz campers… happy campers EVERYONE WELCOME!

A BioBlitz is a 24 hour intensive survey of a delineated area or place, to assess its biological diversity. BioBlitz! 2018 will be our third BioBlitz in the Children’s Forest and we are planning it as an annual event. BioBlitz brings the Cortes community together every spring to look, see and wonder over the beauty of these forest lands. Every year we discover something new to us and new to the comprehensive inventory of fauna and flora that we are compiling.

The goal of the Forest Trust for the Children of Cortes Island Society (FTCCIS), is to purchase the Children’s Forest and gift it to the children of Cortes Island in perpetuity! A strong inventory of fauna and flora strengthens our case for long-term protection of these ecologically significant forest lands.

Registration details for families with youth interested in participating are forthcoming from FTCCIS on Tideline. This is a free community event and everyone is invited! All youth under 18 years of age are required to register; parental consent and supervision required.

BioBlitz! 2018 and the Camp Skills Workshop are sponsored by the Forest Trust for the Children of Cortes Island Society.

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April 1st Nature Study Day… No Fooling!!!

Another EPIC walk, this time from Carrington Bay campsite the back way onto Blitz Bluff!!! Only for the hardiest of heart; this bush whacking was serious!!!

We found previously undiscovered bluffs bursting with arbutus and manzanita; home to alligator lizards! Streams rushing to reach Carrington Lagoon with spectacular maple trees towering overhead!!

You just never know what you might discover off the trails and into the heart of the Children’s Forest!!!

Nature Study Days, the first Sunday of every month; don’t miss out!


sustenance mysterious scat carrington logjam bluff buzz2 bluff buzz1

Who ate what?

rose & lara from minnesota!


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February Nature Study Day in Photos!

FTCCIS Nature Study Days in the Children’s Forest continued this month with an epic hike up Blitz Bluff and north around the east side of the Carrington Lagoon!


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