Living Forest Communities is a social enterprise between the for-profit Living Forest Limited Partnership and the registered charity, the Trust for Sustainable Forestry. We are creating a unique community development model that accomplishes two goals: provides a new finance mechanism for large scale forest conservation, and a new development pattern for creating residential hamlets nestled sensitively in the forest.
Primarily, we wish to establish and maintain sustainable natural forest ecosystems in perpetuity through land conservation and ecosystem-based forestry. This is accomplished by placing protective covenants on at least 85% of the land, while reducing the environmental impact of development and human activities that occurs on the remaining portion. The communities that are built feature clustered "light-on-the-land" home sites modeled after traditional European hilltop towns, and focus on the use of green building technologies. This model not only protects the most ecologically sensitive areas of the forest, but also promotes only sustainable activities such as organic gardening, eco-tourism, environmental education, eco- and agroforestry and related value-added manufacturing activities on those areas that are developed.
With appropriate ecological monitoring by a respected land trust organization, the single stem harvesting, re-planting and management of the forest will provide on-going jobs and incomes, and forests that over time acquire the characteristics of an old growth forest. The nature of the hamlet creates smaller than conventional lots for smaller houses, which contributes to housing attainability and a mix of age and income. We believe that this unique model is one of the best means of saving forest ecosystems in perpetuity because the community committed to its conservation lives embedded within it.
Our newest project, Elkington Forest, is located on Vancouver Island, only 30 minutes north of Victoria. Please visit our new website for more information about this beautiful forested land south of Shawnigan Lake.