Prince George, BC – The wilderness of Northern BC will be greener for the next generation thanks to a UNBC project to honour those who helped make the University a reality.
UNBC’s Natural Resources & Environmental Studies Institute (NRESi) planted 16,000 seedlings at two locations, each seedling representing one of the 16,000 petition signers who in the late 1980s supported the creation of UNBC.
“The trees will be living monuments to those who helped make UNBC possible,” says Darwyn Coxson, Director of NRESi. “The seedlings we have planted in their honour will create a living memorial that links our environment and the community.”
Five-thousand seedlings were planted at the John Prince Research Forest, located 50 kilometres north of Fort St. James. An additional 11,000 were planted 25 minutes east of Prince George on the south side of Highway 16. The latter planting was a partnership with the BC Government’s Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, through its Forests for Tomorrow Program.
NRESi also organized and provided the resources for the planting of ceremonial trees at UNBC campuses in Terrace, Quesnel, and Fort St. John as part of this year’s convocation events, and on Sept. 2, 2014 at the Prince George campus during the 25th anniversary kick-off celebrations. A tree was also planted at the Quesnel River Research Centre in honour of the anniversary. Besides the symbolism associated with the project, the trees will sequester carbon and create oxygen.
“Trees are a key component of the social and economic fabric that makes up Northern BC,” adds Coxson. “As the trees have been planted in sites that would otherwise have remained deforested, it will make a positive contribution to the future quality of life in Northern B.C.”