The Ecoforestry Institute Society (EIS) is truly honoured to have been shortlisted for a National Trust of Canada Award. Specifically, the Homestead Restoration project is up for the Ecclesiastical Insurance Cornerstone Award in the Transformative Projects category.

The National Trust is Canada’s national charitable not-for-profit organization that leads and inspires action for places that matter. Transformative projects are defined as those projects completed between 2013 and 2018 that have creatively renewed or transformed historic places or landscapes for new or traditional uses.

“The Homestead stands as a significant accomplishment since we acquired Wildwood,” says Barry Gates, EIS co-chair. “It gives us a solid foundation that allows us to build on Merv’s legacy and continue the work of presenting ecoforestry as a viable forestry management approach.”

The Homestead is the log and stone home built by Merv Wilkinson, who was awarded the Order of Canada and British Columbia for his pioneering work in ecoforestry. He lived in the Homestead for the majority of his lifetime, honing his ecoforestry knowledge through keen observation and practice. His vision has established Wildwood as the gold standard for a working demonstration ecoforest on the west coast of North America.

EIS continues Merv’s legacy, actively working Wildwood as an ecoforest, selectively harvesting trees while respecting and retaining its ecological parameters. With the acquisition of Wildwood in November 2016, EIS identified the restoration of the Homestead as the top priority. The restoration took 14 months and $250,000, the majority of which was obtained in grants through the Regional District of Nanaimo and the Province of British Columbia Community Gaming programs.

The Homestead now serves as an educational, event and accommodation hub, attracting local and international visitors keen to learn about Merv and his lasting legacy of ecoforestry principles and practices.

For now, EIS waits for the National Trust’s announcement of the winner of the Ecclesiastical Insurance Cornerstone Award in Transformative Projects, on July 31, 2019.

Wish us luck!