In 1938, when Merv Wilkinson began working at Wildwood, his philosophy of forest management was based on sustained yield theory. These principles were sharply different from common practices of the day. Over the years his management style was influenced of scientific insight, intuition, experimentation and experiences, including those of the many visitors from around the world.
Wildwood is now widely recognized as a model for ecoforestry. It has become a learning site for those wanting skills in ecoforestry, and is often used by college and university students as a site for field studies. Merv has been very generous in sharing his knowledge and experiences with others. Over the years thousands of people have gone through this forest.
In December 2000, The Land Conservancy purchased Wildwood Ecoforest from Marv (who owned 25 % of the property and his land partner who owned a 75% share) with the commitment to carry on Merv Wilkinson’s legacy and share it with those interested in working towards a sustainable society. Sustainability for us means being able to integrate our activities within the limits of our home landscape and the ecosystem processes which govern its functioning. We do not wish to compromise the ability of indigenous organisms or the forest to withstand stresses and disturbances. Wildwood will continue to be a working forest, with the focus being on providing educational opportunities.
Wildwood is located in the Yellow Point/Cedar area of eastern Vancouver Island near the communities of Nanaimo and Ladysmith. The landscape has been influenced by glacial scouring as indicated by the ridges and wetlands oriented roughly north to south. The property is 77 acres (32 hectares) in size and is bisected by the southern arm of Quennell Lake. The property is diverse, with areas of steep and undulating slopes, marshy areas as well as dry ridges. As a result of this diversity there are several vegetation communities. The tree species include Douglas-fir, western redcedar, grand fir, Arbutus, bigleaf maple, red alder, western hemlock, bitter cherry, cascara and the tree which provides British Columbia’s floral emblem, Pacific dogwood. The forest is a mix of old growth and second growth trees.
Management & Directions
Wildwood Ecoforest is managed by the Ecoforestry Institute Society (EIS). The mission of EIS is to foster the development of a forest management system which values, protects and promotes ecological integrity, community vitality and economic opportunity. Ecoforestry practices maintain intact forest ecosystems while providing for harvest within ecological limits. It is adaptable to the inclusion of ecological, cultural, heritage, scenic, recreational, wildlife and fisheries values and objectives. For more information about EIS please visit their website at www.ecoforestry.ca.
Access to the property is limited to interpretive walks and workshops. Forest walks are scheduled at 1:00 p.m. on the 3rd Sunday of the month. Dress more warmly then you expect will be necessary for the weather of the day. Even in the summer a long sleeved shirt is advisable.
Please email volunteers to let them know that you are coming at email@example.com or call 250-722-7136 to contact Bruce Hepburn, the volunteer site coordinator.
Heading north (from Victoria):
- Just past Ladysmith, turn right at the set of lights onto Cedar Road
- Drive along Cedar Road for 5 minutes; turn right at the Husky Station on to Yellow Point Road
- Drive for 10 minutes (you’ll pass Yellow Point Lodge and Roberts Memorial Park)
- Turn left onto Crane Road
Heading south (from Nanaimo):
- Turn onto Cedar Road at the south end of Nanaimo (Southgate)
- Cross the Nanaimo river and turn right (you will still be on Cedar Road)
- Turn left onto Yellow Point Road and drive about 5 km
- Turn right onto Crane Road
Wildwood Ecoforest News
NEWS RELEASE SUPREME COURT OF BC APPROVES TRANSFER OF WILDWOOD ECOFOREST TO ECOFORESTRY INSTITUTE SOCIETY FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 22, 2016 Victoria, BC – The Land Conservancy of B.C. (TLC) has received approval from the [...]
THE LAND CONSERVANCY OF BC ACCEPTS PURCHASE AND SALE AGREEMENT FOR WILDWOOD ECOFOREST FROM MERV WILKINSON’S APPRENTICE
NEWS RELEASE THE LAND CONSERVANCY OF BC ACCEPTS PURCHASE AND SALE AGREEMENT FOR WILDWOOD ECOFOREST FROM MERV WILKINSON’S APPRENTICE Previously accepted offers for the site unable to be completed by Ecoforestry Institute Society FOR IMMEDIATE [...]
THE LAND CONSERVANCY OF BC SIGNS SALE AGREEMENT WITH ECOFORESTRY INSTITUTE SOCIETY FOR WILDWOOD ECOFOREST
NEWS RELEASE THE LAND CONSERVANCY OF BC SIGNS SALE AGREEMENT WITH ECOFORESTRY INSTITUTE SOCIETY FOR WILDWOOD ECOFOREST FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 9, 2015 Victoria, BC – The Land Conservancy of B.C. (TLC) and the Ecoforestry [...]