2023 AGM

We were exceptionally fortunate to have a stellar cast as keynote presenters – Dr Suzanne Simard, author (‘Finding the Mother Tree – Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest’) & UBC Professor of Forest Ecology; Tzeporah Berman, Paul Stamets, alumni, and over 40 attendees

Dr. Simard presented insight into her work on the Mother Tree Project and spoke to the value of the Children’s Forest.  A lively, thoughtful panel discussion followed with Dr. Simard, our alumni, Tzeporah Berman and Paul Stamets. 

Thank you to everyone for their continued support, it was truly an AGM to remember. 

Please find a recording of the AGM here:

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Giving Tuesday 2022 Update

This year’s Giving Tuesday Campaign was an enormous success and we raised 13,905$! We want to thank everyone who worked hard on the campaign and donated their time and money. To learn more about how it all went visit here for the update. Below are some articles featuring our work leading up to the campaign.

Article written by Corest Currents on Giving Tuesday Campaign also featured on https://www.cortesisland.com/tideline/show15074a/Whats_New_on_Cortes_Currents_-_Nov_21-25_2022

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FTCCIS Virtual AGM 2022 – Forest Alphabet

This year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we made the decision to keep our AGM virtual for the second time. Despite the challenges of this platform our AGM was a resounding success and wonderfully wrapped up this exciting year for the FTCCIS! We are delighted to share this presentation of the Children’s Forest Alphabet by some of our Alumni and guest speaker Andy MacKinnnon. The words of our Alumni truly affirmed the importance of the Children’s Forest and why we are all here.

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Virtual AGM Presentation by Paul Stamets

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Giving Tuesday Update

Giving Tuesday is a global movement for giving and volunteering, taking place each year on the first Tuesday of December. This year, the FTCCIS decided to participate for the first time in Giving Tuesday and benefited from the organizational structure of Canada Helps.  We were overjoyed with the generosity and response from the Cortes community, near and far. Our fundraising goal was $2000, and we exceeded our goal by several hundred dollars!! How amazing and confirming that is.

The following letter of thanks & appreciation was posted on Tideline, the Cortes Island on-line community forum, by director Eric Hargraves.

“The Forest Trust for the Children of Cortes Island Society would like to extend our sincere thanks to all of you who participated in #GivingTuesday. Because of your generosity, we met our goal – we raised $2,020 in just one day – that’s right, $2,020 for 2020!

These funds makes our vision possible – to nurture relationships between children and nature and to inspire advocacy for the natural world.

One of our donors phrased it beautifully in a comment:

“The children’s trust is truly worth supporting. Over the years I have seen many volunteers offering their expertise and many children who have learned about the wonders of this little piece of Cortes. I remain hopeful that your goal will be achieved. Thank you so much for continuing to educate us all on the importance of forests.”

If you’d like to share our vision with others, share our 
homepage or our Facebook page.

If you didn’t have a chance to donate, you can still 
give here.

As always, we thank you – our community – for your continuing support and generosity. And we wish you a Happy Holiday season!

With sincere gratitude,

Eric Hargrave on behalf of the FTCCIS Board

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2021 Virtual AGM

Please join us for an entertaining and informative afternoon!!  The Forest Trust for the Children of Cortes Island Society (FTCCIS) will hold their 2020 AGM via Zoom on Saturday, January 23, 2:00 –  3:30 pm.  Paul Stamets will entertain us with fungi stories & a short report of our 2020 mycoblitz, accompanied by Mira Andrews’ fabulous iNaturalist photos. A review of 2020 with all its surprises & challenges will be covered, and a look ahead to 2021 as the value of getting outside and connecting with nature is becoming recognized and prescribed by medical doctors. A follow-up notice with further information will be posted on the Tideline in a week to facilitate pre-registration with zoom details for the AGM.

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MYCOBlitz 2020 Article in the National Observer


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Quiet in the Forest – Covid-19 Update

“Q is for quiet…Quiet is found in the forest and the forest is found in quiet.”

Forest Alphabet

The Children’s Forest Trust are taking a pause from our usual monthly walks & activities in accordance with the Covid directives from our provincial health authorities. We will not be offering our Nature Study Day on December 6, and we will keep you posted on the annual family Christmas Bird count into the Children’s Forest & Carrington Lagoon and other future activities.

Winter is a potent time of the year in the forest and all around as life is quietly collecting its energy for the great stirrings in spring. It is a special time for contemplative forest walks or exuberant wind-filled jaunts. The pine siskins are chattering and swooping through the treetops; the occasional Pacific tree frog is valiantly calling from its hiding place; the moss and forest greenery is alight from within.

We are most fortunate to live amongst the stunning beauty of forest and sea at any time, but especially in these pandemic times. The Children’s Forest Trust encourages all (within your safe bubble), young & old, families & individuals to embrace the natural beauty we live in, and get outside – look, smell, touch, taste, and feel!

“Ribbit, frog croaks

In a happy kind of voice

It’s going to rain”


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MYCOblitz 2020

One forest…

One mycologist…

Six youth apprentices…

A simple recipe for a powerful weekend of citizen engaged science in the Children’s Forest on Cortes Island.

On October 17 & 18, the Forest Trust for the Children of Cortes Island Society (FTCCIS) hosted a MYCOblitz, to assess the diversity of macrofungi on lands identified by FTCCIS for purchase, and affectionately known to the children of Cortes Island as… the Children’s Forest.

Sixty-three species of macrofungi were identified to genus and species by a research team of Cortes Island youth lead by mycologist, Paul Stamets.

This inventory will form our foundational fungal working list and is an important addition to the species lists compiled, to date, from BIOblitz data 2016-2019.

Mega MYCO thanks to Paul Stamets for a weekend of MYCO merriment! 

Paul generously shared with us his love of mushroom lore; we learned soooooo much!

We learned that mushrooms are the fruiting bodies (above the forest floor) of the mycelia (below the forest floor); the mycelia form a giant fungal engine in the soil; superhighways to move nutrients across miles of forest lands! As we walk across the forest floor, the mycelia sense our footsteps! Mycelia breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide, just like us! We are more closely related, evolutionarily, to mushrooms in Kingdom Fungi than animals in Kingdom Animalia! We also learned that woodpeckers carry fungal spores (up to 120 species) on their beaks from one tree to the next, inoculating them with fungi that will break the wood down and provide good habitat for insects. When the woodpeckers return a year later, they remember the trees they inoculated and feast on the insects! We learned that mushrooms sometimes grow upside-down and that there are giggling mushrooms! Raindrops splash fungal spores out of the wee cups made by the Bird’s Nest Fungus to spread them across the forest floor! Tonics made from mushrooms boost the immune system and that is the primary medicinal role of mushrooms!

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James Creek Spawning Gravel Project

James Creek cascades through the heart of the Children’s Forest and empties into a large salt-water lagoon at Grandmother Grove. The biologically diverse James Creek watershed, the largest on Cortes Island, provides extensive wetland and riparian habitat that supports spawning chum, coho and cutthroat trout. The FTCCIS sponsor streamkeeper workshops & activities, organize annual youth spawner counts, and provide youth stewardship of James Creek. 

Much of the natural spawning gravel that once existed in James Creek was scoured away during early logging practices. The James Creek Spawning Gravel Project aims to add spawning gravel to the creek and increase the spawning potential for chum. We can report a highly successful completion to the first phase of laying spawning gravel into James Creek in Sept 2020.

Support and approval was obtained from the following parties: Mosaic Forest Management Corporation for access to the private managed forest lands which James Creek runs through; Fisheries & Oceans Canada who provided licensing and site approval; Mainroad Contracting for the free supply and transportation of spawning gravel to the area; FOCI for their administrative support and  insurance coverage;  the Ministry of Forest & Lands for permitting approval; the Community Forest General Partnership for access to gravel storage on crown land, and FOCI Streamkeepers for overall coordination of the project.

The spawning gravel was transported by bucket, wheelbarrow and zipline by 21 hard-working community members in 2 epic work bees. We estimate the project took 180 total volunteer hours and moved 460-part buckets and 9000 pounds of gravel. Twenty-one very tired bodies but lucky spawning chum!

The following link takes you to an article posted on Cortes Currents:

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