Two dangerous maple trees may help improve medical care in the Comox Valley.
Blackberry Holdings Ltd. had two old maple trees on its property where the Comox Valley Record sits (765 McPhee Ave. in Courtenay).
Unfortunately, according to Blackberry Holdings Ltd.'s Byron Alke, the trees had some rot in their cores and some of the upper branches — and were becoming dangerous.
Thus, they had to be cut down for safety reasons, but Alke said the wood is still excellent for firewood purposes, and he's offering it to the community on a you-pick basis in exchange for a donation to the St. Joseph's General Hospital Foundation.
Blackberry Holdings Ltd. will then match these contributions to the foundation.
"I would like to do something to give back to the community," said Alke. "And, I just think that the hospital foundation is a good way to give back to the community."
Alke's depending on "the honour system," counting on anyone who comes to get the wood to drop off a donation of $20 to $30 per level pickup load at the Record. Cheques or cash will be accepted, but he points out he can't give out tax receipts because the donation is in trade for the wood.
He asks donors to include their name and contact information when dropping off cash or a cheque.
He estimates about five or six level pickup loads are left, and the wood needs to be split before it's hauled away as it's simply in rounds.
He adds it should be seasoned before burning so would likely be ready for use next fall.
The trees were fairly old, and Alke says the decision to cut them down was not taken lightly; the trees were considered dangerous. During a windstorm last year a couple of large branches broke off and one landed on the Record's roof.
The St. Joseph's General Hospital Foundation uses donations to buy much-needed medical equipment to help improve care at the hospital, among other things.
For more information, contact Byron Alke at 250-338-7802.