Fire, Forest and Resiliency Activity

Image of Dave Verhulst for the Fire, Forests and Resilience

Forests and trees are dynamic and living organisms. Like people, they are subject to “disturbances;” events that test and develop resilience. For trees and forests in Banff National Park, the most defining disturbance is fire. Fire can burn slow and low, fast and hot, or any temperature in between. Like an issue facing an individual or organization, fire motivates/demands a response. The response varies depending on the type of tree, the intensity of the fire and the condition of the forest as a whole – just as a person’s response to a disturbance varies according to the individual’s personality, the intensity of the challenge and the condition of the community to which that individual belongs. Understanding the dynamic of fire and how trees in Banff have co-evolved with this important process will provide insights into what resilience means to forests, to you and your community.

This session takes place outside, on Banff Centre campus. 

Dave Verhulst

Dave believes the natural world is one of our most powerful teachers and mentors. Through sharing stories and experiences in the landscape, he helps children and adults develop a strong connection with themselves and nature. In 2011, he co-founded Forest Play in Canmore based on Forest School models and the 8 Shields Mentoring Model. Over the years, he has developed his own unique leadership style that has been honed through diverse experiences in the private, public and non-profit sectors. With over 20 years professional guiding experience, Dave facilitates programs for children ages 4-14. He also facilitates leadership programs for the Pacific Centre for Leadership, the Banff Centre and has worked as Executive Director of the Interpretive Guides Association and Fire Communications Officer for Banff National Park. He has a Master's Degree in Recreation Management, is an accredited Master Interpretive Guide and is a Wilderness First Responder. Dave is the proud father of 2 girls and enjoys many outdoor adventures with his family.