The long and the short of it
Simply put, this blog is dedicated to the Land of the Northwest Coast. Envisioned by Mischa and Richard Greenwood, this site has grown out of a deep love and respect for the ecological heritage of the West Coast of Canada. Using digital visual media as a primary means of expression, this site is a photo/video-diary of our experiences and reflections on the land, history, culture and spirituality of the Pacific Northwest.
The complete pictureGrowing up in the Pacific Northwest in the ’80s was a unique experience. My brother and I didn’t have computers, mobile phones, PSPs or iPods to keep us occupied – we just had a big backyard and plenty of time outdoors. Our family vacations weren’t to Canada’s Wonderland or Disneyland but to Long Beach in Pacific Rim National Park. We spent our out-of-school hours playing on the lawn, running through parks, climbing trees and having epic fun. It was an awesome childhood – one that we owe to our parents and to the beautiful environment of southern Vancouver Island.
As time passed, I found myself further drawn into the natural heritage of my surroundings: camping in Juan de Fuca Provincial Park, hiking adventures in the Sooke Hills and Gowlland Tod Provincial Park, swimming at one of the Thetis Lakes, Durrance Lake, Matheson Lake or the Sooke Potholes, and my weekly escapades in Mount Doulgas Park (day or night).
In 1993, I crossed the Salish Sea (Strait of Georgia) to the Lower Mainland for my first multi-day adventure – from Black Tusk to Cheakamus Lake in Garibaldi Provincial Park. I eventually worked for a couple of summers in Paradise Valley (just north of Squamish, near Brackendale) and, after additional overnight trips into Garibaldi Provincial Park and the Tantalus Range, developed a profound love for the Coast Mountains and a more comprehensive, deep-rooted connection with the land of the Northwest Coast.
After many years spent in other provinces/countries in much more densely populated urban areas, Richard and I both settled in Vancouver. As we renewed our joint explorations of the natural spaces in and around the city, we began to reflect on our upbringing and the sacredness of the land in which we grew up. As an educator, I lamented the fact that Generation Z often does not have the same access or experiences that we had – our digital-native children and youth often suffer from a profound nature deficit disorder.
Being involved with K-12 education for the past decade, I firmly believe in the power of nature to connect and transform. Richard and I started this website as an educational bridge from the human-made world of digital media to that of the natural world. The ideas on this site are therefore presented with an educational focus: it uses the beauty of the Land in an attempt to inspire people to rediscover their natural heritage and to encourage dialogue about alternative worldviews. Think of it like a coffee table book without the limitations of printed media: the inclusion of video and other multimedia expressions provide the opportunity to create and share profound narratives. It’s a modern method of telling stories and introducing ideas – stories about contemporary Northwest Coast ecology and balanced, harmonious living.
North Vancouver, March 2011