Fort William Historical Park did its part in recognizing Earth Day, April 22nd.
As part of the global initiative, FWHP took visitors on four Earth Day-themed tours during the day. The tours highlighted how both the aboriginals and fur traders at Fort William utilized natural resources to both survive and thrive during the early 1800s.
The historic site offered a whole spectrum of examples how nature touched almost every aspect of life at the time, including food (wild game and plants), shelter (birch bark and spruce boughs used for wigwams, wood for over 40 Fort structures), warmth (animal fur, fire lighting and fuel), medicine (poplar for headaches, herbal teas and other applications), spiritual (sweet grass used in aboriginal ceremonies), transportation (black ash snowshoes, spruce gum and birch bark for canoes) and shipping (kegs made from cedar and white pine), just to name a few.
As a further benefit, each visitor received a free spruce tree seedling as an enduring commemoration of the event and a tangible means of nurturing our planet.
Some of the tours were cross-generational, running the gamut from young children to grandparents, illustrating the universal appeal and relevance of the day's theme.
The Fort also observed intermittent ‘power outages' during the day as an observance in reducing energy consumption.
FWHP's initiative was one of just two community-oriented events that received prominent profile in local media.
FWHP is considering expansion of the event in the future to provide opportunities for both education and community groups.