Our Sustainability Journey - Landscaping

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Izabela Elias
By Izabela Elias, Marketing & Sales Manager
Newsletters, Sustainability Journey25 August 2023


A sustainability ethos was built into the Wickaninnish Inn even before the foundation was laid. The remarkable old-growth forest and vegetation on the site were delicately considered as we plotted the extent of the building footprint. All trees that were 6 inches or more in diameter were surveyed and recorded, and the Inn was fit in around them. Charles and his brother Bruce decided to meticulously clear the underbrush by hand, and a boundary was marked to ensure the construction crews wouldn’t extend beyond the line.

The finished Inn would come to be completely engulfed by the natural environment and tucked away, almost disguised, within the forest. As part of the vision to blend into the landscape, the exterior colour was thoughtfully chosen to not stand out starkly from its surroundings. The light grey was inspired by the colour of faded driftwood on the beach, a nod to our oceanfront setting. While many hotels feature perfectly manicured lawns, hedges, and bright flowers, there’s a reason you won’t find those here. Guests arriving at the Inn will be greeted with ferns, old-growth trees, and salal berries local to this natural temperate rainforest environment.

The goal since our inception has been to maintain the incredible forest around us and allow the local vegetation to enhance the grounds. Not only does this create an immersive West Coast experience for our guests, but it also ensures there's no need for extensive water usage to maintain grassy areas and flower beds. While a touch of pruning is sometimes called for, we take great care not to compromise the natural shrubbery and trees surrounding us. The smaller footprint of the grounds around the Wick has also shown to be very conducive to the fauna. Guests often spot the resident family of ravens that nest here year after year, the bald eagles perching in the surrounding trees, and the river otter family living nearby. There is also the chance to explore the connection between these old-growth forests and the sandy ocean shores through our beach loop trail connecting the two.

Landscaping is just a small piece of the bigger picture regarding sustainability. It's front of mind for us to continue setting high standards for our environmental practices by holding ourselves accountable internally as well as externally by engaging with the many organizations and programs that align with our commitment to continuous improvement. This is an eternal journey we are happy to be on, and by being a part of these organizations and striving to live up to their ever-increasing standards, we hope to set a high bar for others around us to emulate – and one that Mother Nature appreciates, too. We are far from perfect, but our dedication to learning and evolving is one that is at the heart of our operation and modelled by each of our outstanding team members.

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