The Magical Mystery Pacific Marine Circle Tour

Thursday, June 09, 2016 - By: Emily S, Allard ’19

On Monday, May 30th, the 21st Century Studies classes went on a field trip across the Island on what is known as the Pacific Marine Circle Tour. We ventured to the Lake Cowichan Research Centre, west to Avatar Grove, and finally to Botanical Beach on the Island’s rugged Pacific coast and learned a lot about many things, from trees to the ecosystem to tidal systems and tidal pool dwellers. It was an enjoyable and interesting trip for us all.

The first stop on our trip was the Cowichan Lake Research Centre where we divided into three groups to take turns learning about different aspects of a tree’s life. We learned about many things such as how they measure trees, how they replant them, and how they help them to reproduce. It was reassuring to see that there are people out there who are making an effort to care for our environment.

The Harris Creek Sitka Spruce was our next stop before hiking through Avatar Grove. This gigantic tree is over 80 metres tall and was most likely the largest tree any of us had ever seen! After admiring the spruce, we began exploring the rest of the trees in the beautiful old-growth forest called Avatar Grove, including Canada’s gnarliest tree. We collectively found it fascinating to be able to see trees which have been around for hundreds of years. 

One of the highlights of our odyssey was the last stop on our journey when we were lucky enough to visit Botanical Beach, a unique feature situated on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Known for its unique rock formations and tidal pools filled with a myriad of sea creatures from hermit crabs to mussels, Botanical Beach was a very interesting place for us to explore. On our trek down to the beach, we walked on a trail through a forest and with our new-found knowledge of the trees around us, we saw our surroundings in a new light. With a few provincial park rangers there to guide us, we learned about how both the moon and sun affect the tides and also how different types of animals thrive in the tide pools. After learning about trees all day, it was especially nice to learn about the ocean and explore the incredible waterfront. 

Speaking for all of the fortunate Grade 9s who were able to come on this trip, we thank all of the teachers who made it possible!

Emily S, Allard ’19

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