Stanley Park Wood, Vancouver, British Columbia

Story of the Stanley Park storm December 15th 2006

A tragedy unfolded this day for Stanley Park which is world renowned to millions from around the world who have had the opportunity to visit this very special place which was a home for its Aboriginal community from long ago. Today it has been transformed for years to come as a huge storm passed through on December 15th 2006 that changed the park for years to come.
 
These images will tell some of the story of what happened and also the start of rejuvenation program of this jewel of Vancouver and the province of British Columbia.
 
The storm of mid December 2006 created a story that will unfold like nothing else as the wood that has fallen in the forest some of it many hundreds of years old, some of this wood has been very kindly donated by Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation to a very special project as 300 paddles are being made by Stewert Nahanee of the Squamish Nation for gifts around the UK coastline. These paddles will be provided on behalf of many crews traveling in the 'Spirit Dancer' Canoe around its unique coastline.

Stanley Park, Vancouver, Bc, Canada, Wood from storm for paddles for Spirit Dancer Canoe Journey
A winter's day on the seawall with the coast mountains and the West Vancouver shoreline as a backdrop.  This is a typical scene of so many that enjoy the beauty of this lovely walk or run around the Park.

Stanley Park, Vancouver, Bc, Canada, Wood from storm for paddles for Spirit Dancer Canoe Journey
Western Red Cedar of Stanley Park, Vancouver BC, Canada

Western Red Cedar stands up to 200 feet tall and can reach ages over a 1000 years old. The above image gives some scale to the tree. Its uses by the First Nations is endless. Cedar canoes travelled the coast of B.C., Alaska, Washington, Oregon and California.
 
These cedar trees were used for the homes of native communities, paddles, clothing, basket weaving, hats and many other uses.
Stanley Park, Vancouver, Bc, Canada, Wood from storm for paddles for Spirit Dancer Canoe Journey
Standing in the forest looking at the Northshore skyline on a beautiful winter's day.

The forest of Stanley Park can take you back hundreds of years into a time before the early explorers arrived here.

Stanley Park, Vancouver, Bc, Canada, Wood from storm for paddles for Spirit Dancer Canoe Journey
Stanley Park eagle's nest spared by the storms.

Remarkably this eagle's nest was spared in the storm of 2006. It was one of very few trees that was spared as so many were snapped off high up the tree. An incredible piece of luck for this eagle.

Stanley Park, Vancouver, Bc, Canada, Wood from storm for paddles for Spirit Dancer Canoe Journey
The storms hit the trees of Stanley Park hard.

The devastation to Stanley Park was immense. The picture above doesn't provide a sense of the true force of the storm that took out so many beautiful trees. None the less, walking through here gives a feeling of the power and forces involved.

Stanley Park, Vancouver, Bc, Canada, Wood from storm for paddles for Spirit Dancer Canoe Journey
The park is being rejuvenated with the help of many people.

The rejuvenation of the park is well on its way thanks to so many that have contributed to this process. Here you can see how the force of nature has snapped off a very large Western Red Cedar.

Stanley Park, Vancouver, Bc, Canada, Wood from storm for paddles for Spirit Dancer Canoe Journey
Wood arriving at the University of British Columbia Research Forest Department.

This wood from Stanley Park arrives at the UBC Research Forest and is being prepared for unloading. It is used to make 300 paddles used as gifts for people around the U.K. coastline. It took two small logging truck loads to carry all the logs to the research forest.

Stanley Park, Vancouver, Bc, Canada, Wood from storm for paddles for Spirit Dancer Canoe Journey
Stanley Park trees being cut into planks for paddles.

Here you can see one of the first logs that was cut into planks. The beautiful edge grain was required for the paddle carver to cut the wood correctly. It took several days to cut this amount of wood for paddles.

Stanley Park, Vancouver, Bc, Canada, Wood from storm for paddles for Spirit Dancer Canoe Journey
An example of the fine edge grade wood sawn into planks. It is then trimmed to length.

Stanley Park, Vancouver, Bc, Canada, Wood from storm for paddles for Spirit Dancer Canoe Journey
Transporting the planks to the dry kiln.

The Western Red Cedar wood is now ready to be transported to the dry kiln at Interfor's Hammond Cedar Mill where the wood will remain in the dry kiln for two weeks and will be ready for January 22nd. From there the wood goes to Stewert Nahanee of the Squamish Nation and will be carved into special paddles with beautiful lines. The edge grain wood is truly beautiful.

Stanley Park, Vancouver, Bc, Canada, Wood from storm for paddles for Spirit Dancer Canoe Journey

Interfor's Hammond Cedar Mill has been extremely helpful with the drying process for all our wood for this project. This includes over three hundred Western Red Cedar planks for gifts for the communities we visit and over three hundred Yellow Cedar planks which will be made into paddles for the paddlers around the UK.

This image provides the viewer a rare moment of how things are done at Interfor's Hammond Cedar division. It is a very scientific process and is very interesting for someone who is just learning an amazing amount about this whole process. Hats off to all help provided.

Stanley Park, Vancouver, Bc, Canada, Wood from storm for paddles for Spirit Dancer Canoe Journey

After two weeks in the dry kiln at Interfor's Hammond Cedar Division, staff admire the rare Stanley Park Western Red Cedar shortly after the wood came out of the kiln. The process of drying wood is very scientific and an amazing experience for me to witness.

Stanley Park, Vancouver, Bc, Canada, Wood from storm for paddles for Spirit Dancer Canoe Journey

I spent a few hours loading this wood into the truck. It is truly an amazing process of seeing this wood being treated for export. Here all the wood in the truck will be transported to Stewert Nahanee to build the 300 paddles required for the canoe journey.

Stanley Park, Vancouver, Bc, Canada, Wood from storm for paddles for Spirit Dancer Canoe Journey

Stewert Nahanee of the Squamish Nation cuts the first plank of Western Red Cedar from the gifted/donated  Stanley Park wood. This first paddle will be presented to the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, Stanley Park division.

Stanley Park, Vancouver, Bc, Canada, Wood from storm for paddles for Spirit Dancer Canoe Journey

Here you can see the traditional shape of the Squamish Nation paddle being formed. This shape has been used for centuries on the coast of British Columbia. This first paddle is being carefully designed for a special celebration for the start of Spirit Dancer Canoe Journeys.

Nahanee Brothers

Wes and Stewart Nahanee of the Squamish Nation hold the first paddle that was completed for a special presentation to the Vancouver Parks and Recreation board of Stanley Park. The paddle was hand carved by Stewart and painted by Wes.