Giants of the Forest

by Karen Janigan

They're the longest living trees in the Acadian forest and they are under threat from the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid; but Tom Rogers doesn't want to scream out an alarm. Instead, he wants to show people how beautiful Nova Scotia's forests are and encourage them to keep them that way.

"I find positive messages are way more motivating than beating people up with how bad things area," said the woodlot owner in an interview. With 150 acres that's been in his family for four generations, Rogers speaks lovingly of the forests.

He has a stand of Hemlock, some so big it would take two people to encircle them. He doesn't want to lose them to the devastation of the invasive pest that has wreaked havoc south of the border.

Rogers also has nothing but praise for the Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute, which is how he came up with a campaign to raise funds for the research the institute carries on, including into the most recent pest.

Rogers decided to put together and sell a calendar to raise research funds. Called Giants of the Forest, the pictures will come from a contest asking photographers to submit photos of beautiful individual, stands or forests of trees "to show everyone how beautiful Nova Scotia is."

As the web site http://www.giantsofnovascotia.com/ declares the contest is about "celebrating the beauty of Nova Scotia's trees and forest though a 2019 calendar with all proceeds donated to keep it that way."

The contest runs to September 14, 2018, but people should not take "giants" of Nova Scotia literally, because the tree or trees do not have to be giant to have a large impact. "It's totally up to the photographer to interpret," said Rogers

Those photographs picked for each of the 12 months will receive $50; the shot picked for the cover of the calendar will receive $100, thanks to a $1,000 grant from Awesome South Shore. The rest will go toward the printing so the calendars will be ready in October.

"We have amazing forests and trees throughout the province," said Rogers, enthusiastically. "We live in a pretty cool part of the world and I want to promote the understanding of what we have with a gentle message."

Contest details can be found at the http://www.giantsofnovascotia.com website.

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