Marmot Recovery Foundation
Mount Washington Breeding Facility

On this page are links to photographs of the site preparations for the Marmot Recovery Foundation's Breeding Facility.
When viewing the photos in the letter below, use your BACK button to return to this page

A letter to you from Tony Barrett (Written in October 2000)

Dear friends and supporters,

Hello. Tony Barrett speaking;

To those of you who have contributed generously or worked really hard to make the marmot recovery happen, please savour the results you'll see from your heart-and-soul efforts. To those of you still getting to know us, thanks for letting us share our promising achievements with you. Let us make our hopes for the marmot into your hopes too.

While the photos you will see show work-in-progress, days after these shots in mid-October we successfully completed the foundations. Next April, stage 2 of construction will begin. I've chosen 12 pictures for your quick tour of the site: 6 from the air and 6 on the ground.

Please click along with me for just a few minutes. And thanks so much for looking on.

From the air - 6 photos:

Five minutes by helicopter due west of Courtney / Comox, we see (Mt. Washington Resort) and its 5000' peak from the south. Marmot Recovery Foundation's breeding centre construction site is beside the green water tower which is just above and to the right of centre in this photo.

In the next 3 images, we get closer and closer to the water tower. (Our section of the mountain). Now you can see the green water tower as we zero in on it from the SE.

Let's get a little closer. (Here's where we're building) You can begin to see our excavations. I confess we made our own mini-clear-cut to situate the breeding centre. (The village is close by) to the SW. The water tower close by is 19m high. Two years ago, snow depth accumulated almost to the top of it; gives you an idea of snow load considerations our design team had to deal with.

The work in progress you are seeing from this hover shot shows the basic shape of things to come -- the concrete footings. (Aerial Outline of the centre) The breeding centre will be 5200 ft2. That's about the size of city residential lot, 50' x 105', but entirely covered by building.

You can see that (We've blasted and scraped a little) here to dig the rear of building into the slope of the hill so that it will be less obtrusive

From the ground - 6 photos:

Let's start at the NW corner of the site with the water tower immediately behind us and look SE over work site. (Beautiful SE view over the site) The plywood sheets laid in a line are materials for the concrete forms that will be put atop the footings to create the back wall of the foundations and the building.

If you are used to seeing footings made the conventional way with plywood box forms, you are in for a surprise here. All our footings used a new BC technology called Fast Foot in which plastic fabric bags or troughs contain the cement. Here (Chris Erb construction boss), our contractor, looks over one of the bag footings securing rebar up-rights. These next images (foundation walls, front to rear), (setting up forms for rear wall), (close-up over centre and front foundations) show how the forms to contain poured concrete are taking shape atop the footings.

Fill 'er up! (Pump that concrete - filling the wall forms) The concrete pumper has arrived and all those forms are being filled up with concrete for which the cement powder was generously donated by Tilbury Cement -- all 375 cubic yards of the stuff.

A few days later, the forms were removed and the structure was back-filled to grade.

When we are finished in mid-summer, Marmot Mountain Motel will look like this model (Completed centre will look like this) as viewed from the east.

Thanks so much for witnessing the tangible progress we've made to date, for about $250,000. There's another $1M of work to be done. Financing is being provided by our donors' gifts and funds borrowed under a special agreement for which we applaud HSBC Bank Canada.

Continued growth in public support is essential to completing construction between April and mid-summer of 2001. All winter, we'll be working to announce more gifts in-kind of materials and services from suppliers, and cash support from donors.

Many thanks for your support of the Vancouver Island marmot recovery.

To make a donation to support the recovery of the Vancouver Island marmot, or to find out more about this fascinating animal, please visit the site of the Marmot Recovery Foundation. You will find many superb photos of the marmot and its habitat taken by the world's foremost expert on this animal, Dr. Andrew Bryant.

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