I was given an awe-inspiring glimpse Tuesday into a business that I don't normally give much thought to.
From my bed, strategically perched to offer a view of the Fraser River, I watched as a huge barge with hundreds of logs piled high passed by.
Little did I know, in that moment, that I was witnessing part of a much larger operation. That barge wasn't just passing by, it was unloading about 10,000 to 12,000 cubic metres of logs at Northview Enterprises, a log-sorting yard located at the south end of 225th Street in Port Haney.
And, according to Kevin Symonds - a scaler for Garrett Log Services who spent a few moments chatting with me - that mountain of logs was bought by Northview and shipped here from Northern Vancouver Island.
"There's supposed to be some old-growth cedar on there. I couldn't quote you a price, but the market is hot right now," said Symonds, who noted this is the first big barge that's stopped there in two years.
"People were stopped on the bypass and seemed to be fascinated by the whole procedure," he said.
This sight gave me a renewed appreciation for how the forest industry impacts this community, and gave me pause to think about how the industry has changed dramatically over the decades.
ART FUN AIDS HOSPITAL When was the last time you exercised your creative side?
The Create Shop, a pottery painting "lounge," is raising money for the Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation by sharing profits for a day.
On Thursday, March 14 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. the Create Shop, at 22297 Dewdney Trunk Rd., will be giving 10 per cent of its sales to the foundation.
Donations from this event go toward improvements in the maternity ward and diagnostic equipment at Ridge Meadows Hospital, according to shop owner Melissa Kramer.
"This is the perfect day to come in and try being an artist for an hour or two," she said. "If you've been waiting to come in and see what we do, now is the time to give us a go," Kramer added.
Partnerships like this one between the hospital foundation and Create Shop are a fun and easy way to involve everyone in the health care system, said Laura Butler, RMHF's development officer.
Unfinished pieces of pottery - like a mug or a piggy bank - can be bought and painted. The studio provides all the tools, supplies, and even expertise. They will then fire the masterpiece and make it ready for pickup one week later.
The Create Shop also offers meeting space to local non-profit organization for up to 20 adults at no charge. Yes, that's right, free. They just ask that a booking is made in advance at 604-380-3801.
For information visit www.thecreateshop.ca.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention another artists' sanctuary that's popped up just around the corner on 224th Street in downtown Maple Ridge.
This little art-inspired mecca, called 4Cats, is offering spring break art classes for kids ages five to 15, from March 18 to 28. There will be something for any young budding artist. Visit www.4cats.com/ mapleridge.
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