Poetry in the Admiral’s Forest (near Sooke)

Otter Point forest near Sooke, BC

Can we save this land and make it a community forest? Enjoy beautiful views into the Straight of Juan de Fuca from the Admiral’s Forest at Otter Point, west of Sooke. Photos by James Gaston.

Want to do some forest bathing? A Forest for All Seasons will refresh your soul with a unique literary experience in the woods near Sooke.

Canadian poet Wendy Morton lives nearby in the Victoria region. She dreams of buying the Admiral’s Forest at Otter Point… to protect it from development, open it to the public and preserve the habitat.

She’s organizing an event to help make this dream come true. On the afternoon of March 30, come wander a path at the edge of the Admiral’s Forest where illustrated poems hang from trees.

Stop to read the poems. Let the poets’ words sink in. Let yourself harmonize with the heartbeat of the woods.

A Forest for All Seasons (Poetry in the Woods)

Date: March 30, 2014
Time: 11 AM – 3 PM
Location: In the woods, west of Sooke… at 8514 West Coast Road
Admission: Free—just come and enjoy a unique experience

Park at Seaward, 8485 West Coast Road and walk into the Poetry Grove across the road. Then, follow a path at the edge of the Admiral’s Forest where poems are hung from the trees.

Poets from around the world have sent their work to Wendy to celebrate the 70 acre property tended by Rear Admiral John Charles from his retirement to Victoria in 1974 to his passing in 2010.

The collection of illustrated poems is truly unique and heartfelt. They capture how important natural experiences are for you and I. The Japanese have a term for a walk in the woods that restores and refreshes: Shinrin-yoku (“forest bathing”). It is living poetry.

Path through the Admiral's Forest at Otter Point, west of Sooke

The forest at Otter Point has grown around a network of trails that fit the natural landscape. As a private managed forest, timber harvest has been sustainable. There are old growth specimens as well as maturing second growth trees.

Riders on horseback help keep the trails open and groomed, and in the future certain trails will be wheelchair accessible.  It’s a place for children, youth and adults to explore and grow.


The Juan de Fuca Community Land Trust would like to protect the habitat and preserve the recreational use of this land for future generations. Imagine a community forest. It would be mostly wild, like East Sooke Regional Park. But unlike most parks, it would be owned and cared for by the people who care about it most: locals.

On the last weekend in March, when spring welcomes you outdoors, plan to spend Sunday out on the West Coast Road beyond Sooke. There are cafes and picnic spots aplenty: Gordon’s Beach, the beach at Muir Creek, French Beach, Sandcut Beach, the beach at Jordan River, China Beach.

Entre the woods, savour the poems and soak in the scented air and soothing green.

The Forest for All Seasons poetry event runs from 11 am to 3 pm. Park at Betty Tully’s Seaward property at 8485 West Coast Road. Then, walk a few steps to the entrance of the Admiral’s Forest at 8510 West Coast Road.

Forest for All Season's Event at Otter Point (near Sooke)

The Juan de Fuca Community Land Trust Society is a new member of the Land Trust Alliance of BC: ltabc.ca .  We are on a mission to acquire properties on southwestern Vancouver Island, preserve the natural habitat and keep them open to the public.

We plan to let the forest at Otter Point grow older with supervision to keep it healthy, free from hazards and invasive species. We want to keep it as a kind of living classroom and gentle wilderness with animal residents and human visitors.