Day 2: The Gatherers Meet at the Edge of the Royal Roads University Forest

After Kerry Mason’s talk, there was time for a quick lunch at the Habitat Cafe on the Royal Roads University campus before walking across the road to the edge of the forest.

Gaia College instructor, ecological landscape designer and consultant, Manon Tremblay (centre) took the first group upstream for their walk in the forest.

She led the Gatherers through a series of sensory exercises to help them explore the rain forest.
Meanwhile, Gaia College instructor, Ecological Landscape Designer and Master Gardener, Debbie Guedes (centre), took her group downstream to experience the shifting ecologies as they walked towards the ocean.

Debbie sharing her wealth of knowledge.

An excellent example of a wildlife tree seen from the track.

The Skunk Cabbages are in fine form.
At the same time, under the shade of the forest trees, I gave the third group a quick workshop on earth dyeing.
Here I am showing Jean Cockburn a dyed cloth while she massages earth into her cloth.
I use Bengala earth dyes. They are so simple to use I was able to set the workshop up under the trees for 40+ people.

Shamina Senaratne checks her cloth as it dries on a branch.

Debbie and Manon try their hand at earth dyeing.
I could not have run this workshop without my 2 excellent assistants – Sarah McLaren (in red) and Louise Slobodan (in green). For 2 hours, with cold wet hands, they helped people, reorganised the work table before the next group arrived and packed everything up at the end.
These 4 made this an event enjoyed by many. 

After each group had rotated through the 3 activities it was time to return to the hotel to freshen up before the next event.
The post-event survey results had comments from some Gatherers that they wanted a longer time out in the forest. We were lucky with the weather but if it had been any colder, windier or raining the 2 hours would have felt too long. The committee decided to take the risk and allowed 2 hours for the outside activities. We left time the next day for the Gatherers to return to the forest to experience more on their own.
Thanks again to Judi McLeod for the use of her excellent images.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *