Friendly Forest derives its name from the many trees that have been "adopted" in recognition of special friendship and respect between the owner / operator / artist, Gerald Regnitter, all the living inhabitants of Friendly Forest and the person granted an adoption certificate. (Check "Adoption Story" for details.)

Friendly Forest is located on 120 acres / 48 hectares of forest and water in the transitional boreal forest of north-central Saskatchewan, Canada, near the Prince Albert National Park. It has the same animal and plant life as the National Park.

The forest home in which I live has a history of its own. Long before I was given the opportunity to become its caretaker in 1986, a large ice ball was rolled over by a glacier and gouged out a space in the till. When the glacier melted, it left a glacial kettle which became the pond in the forest. The ridge of clay, rock and gravel along the one side has become the site for my home overlooking the pond. There has been a long succession of beaver lodges built on the pond. When I first saw the area, two lodges were active, and all of the aspen and birch near the pond had been felled and spread out like so many toothpicks. The "mess" the beaver left this time, and times in the past, opened up the area near the pond for the growth of a ring of spruce and larch. About 35 years ago most of the large spruce were logged out. Their spaces have since been occupied by birch, aspen and young spruce trees. What were trees too small to harvest then, have now become large in their own right. I have been most fortunate to have been given the privilege of sharing this sacred space, [ for that is what it is], and I have vowed to respect and preserve what I have been given.

Friendly Forest is the home of "FRIENDLY FOREST PRODUCTS", a home-based business making "functional art products & wood furniture." What would be more natural than to take wood, the gift of the forest, and craft it into functional works of art and special furniture pieces? Local woods are often used in combination with exotic hardwoods from around the globe, with special attention to harmonizing the unique and special properties of each kind of wood. Many items have relief carving with images from the forest and nature, and can be personalized to make a special, one-of-a-kind gift for yourself or someone else who would value a unique gift from the forest.

 

Photo by Dave Howard

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