Friday, July 24, 2009

The Eik Street Tree Tee

I'm back; camera in hand. I've been looking forward to this post, so wanted to get that camera back. There is a tree in Tofino. A tree in bondage.

Meet the Eik Street Tree. When I first moved to Tofino, almost 16 years ago now, there were two huge trees like this just down the street from my house; within the village's limits. Then one day, very quickly — and it seems as if it happened in the middle of the night — one of those trees came down. The gravel lot where the tree (and it's surrounding forest once stood) have been there ever since. That got a lot of people ticked off to put it lightly. So when it looked as if the second centuries-old cedar might come down some local people went to action. A couple climbed the tree and camped out there for weeks. There were gatherings, protests, pleas to the village and developer, and a new society was formed: the Tofino Natural Heritage Society. You can read about the history of the protest and the entire event here, but you can see the compromise that resulted.

Apropos to this huge conversation piece in a metal girdle, my brother sent me an article from Tech Life Magazine (scroll through to pages 38-39) about an Edmonton entrepreneur who commemorated the Eik Street Tree on a t-shirt. I immediately ordered myself a tee, which is wonderful -- great comfy, soft fabric, great fit, complete with the Eik Street Tree. Uber-ethically produced. What more could you want?

(BTW, that's not me modelling.) Kate has a series of t-shirts that highlight trees special to her. The first t-shirt was of a poplar that grew along a river valley in Edmonton. The tree sat on prime real estate and Kate wondered what might happen to it. The idea for her company took root and after months of planning and sourcing environmentally friendly materials and processes, Kate launched Earth's Revolution with a t-shirt – the Beautiful Lady T — commemorating her beloved Edmonton poplar.

Each of Kate's tees come with the GPS coordinates printed on the back, which adds a techy twist, plus the directions should you choose to visit them. Currently, Kate has tees for trees in Montreal, Healy Pass (Banff National Park), Edmonton, as well as the Eik Street tree. Coming soon is a tree from Hawaii and one from the Mojave Desert, both subjects of recent visits.

Kate and I got in touch and she graciously donated a couple of t-shirts as give-aways through this site. The first tee (+ some other loot, including a book by yours truly) and some art cards from Clayoquot Eclectic) is heading out to [insert drumroll] ... Heather Weeks.

There will be another give away in a few weeks, but there's one rule — you must comment on this site and/or make a donation to the Natural Heritage Society to be entered in to the draw. (And sorry, anonymous comments don't count as I can't get in touch with you.)

Thanks, Kate! Please visit her site or follow her on Facebook.

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