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The Story of BC’s Wooden Blocks
November 1, 2022
The British Columbia tree growing in the forest symbolizes the beauty and strength of our community and those who contribute to it. Each set of wooden blocks are unique and cut from the same tree as we are unique and parts of the whole.
Beautiful British Columbia
We are a province of diversity. BC has Canada’s third largest population, with over 5 million people, and is the most ethnically diverse province in Canada. Almost 30 percent of British Columbians have immigrated to BC from another country. Our Indigenous peoples, with 198 distinct First Nations – 30 languages, and almost 60 dialects, have lived and cared for the lands and all its beings for over 10,000 years.
British Columbia is the third largest province in size. It is huge! BC is 1,200 kilometres from north to south and 1,000 kilometres from east to west – the size of France, Germany and the Netherlands – COMBINED. To drive from the southern-most point of BC to the Yukon boarder would take 24 hours – non-stop.
The province is known throughout the world for its beauty, its climate, and its people. Our cities are consistently ranked among the most liveable on the planet. People travel to BC from around the world to visit our sites, to recreate (golfing, skiing, sailing, cycling, hiking, and fishing), to eat our fresh foods, for the diverse cuisine, and drink our wines. When people think of British Columbia, they think about our beauty – the rocky coastline, sandy beaches, islands, lakes, rugged mountains, and our vast forests.
Over seventy-five percent of BC is covered in mountains and the province has over 149 million acres of forest.
British Columbia has a higher degree of ecosystem diversity in our forests than in any other Province or Territory in Canada and is among the most diverse in the world. A forest ecosystem is made of fertile soil, plants, animals, decomposers, and fungi. A tree will grow, die, fall to the forest floor, decompose, and nurture the plants and fungi around it.
A single tree will not thrive without that ecosystem.
And yet, life is still difficult for a tree in the forest. A tree is exposed to the elements, including rains and flooding, droughts and fire, extreme heat, extreme cold, and wind.
Every tree in the forest is unique. It will shape itself to and by its surroundings. The roots of the tree will reach across rocks, intertwine with the roots of other trees, and reach deep into the soil for nourishment. The branches will reach out to drink from the rain and feel the warmth of the sun.
Our Swim Team is a tree in the forest. We are shaped by the beauty of our landscape and diversity of our ecosystem. We have been nurtured and are strong. We have endured and persevered through hardship.
Each wooden block has been cut from a single BC tree and the rough edges have been carefully smoothed.
On at a time, please pick two wooden blocks from the centre of the circle. One block represents your mind and the other your body.
No two blocks are the same – each having their own patterns and knots each are perfectly imperfect. Your blocks reflect you – unique, beautiful, and part of the bigger tree.
You contribute to this team by displaying your recognition of support, community, diversity, uniqueness, beauty, strength, and perseverance. We do this by clapping the blocks together. It is the commitment of your mind and body to the team.