Forests for the Future
Wildwood is Merv Wilkinson’s world-renowned Ecoforestry site just south of Nanaimo in British Columbia, Canada. For over 60 years, beginning in 1938, Wilkinson harvested timber from Wildwood in a way that maintained a healthy vibrant forest ecosystem. His pioneering work in forest stewardship showed a viable alternative to clear-cut logging, and has educated and inspired people from around the world in efforts to preserve our forests. Wilkinson earned many honours for his life work, including the Order of Canada and the Order of British Columbia.
Wildwood’s 32 hectares of mature forest are a significant and representative sample of BC’s endangered coastal Douglas-fir forest. Due to logging and urban development, less than one-half of one percent (about 1100 hectares), of relatively undisturbed old Douglas-fir forests remain in the low coastal plain of BC. With 800 year old trees, trees of multiple ages and heights, and a diverse forest canopy and understory; Wildwood is a living seed bank and genetic repository for this provincially endangered ecosystem.
Concerned about the long term future of Wildwood, Wilkinson and the community took steps to ensure that this demonstration forest would be held as a trust in perpetuity. Hundreds of people helped The Land Conservancy of BC (TLC) to raise over $1million to purchase and protect Wildwood. Wilkinson himself donated $150,000 of the purchase price, and one benefactor donated over $200,000 to pay off the mortgage.
Wildwood was purchased in full by donations, and TLC declared they would protect it forever.
Merv Wilkinson passed away in 2011. Let’s ensure that his legacy, Wildwood Ecoforest, continues to educate and inspire people around the world as a world-class model of sustainable forestry practices.