It’s easy to feel alive in Whistler, breathing in the mountain air. Connecting to nature isn’t hard when you’re literally surrounded by its visceral beauty. But there can never be too many opportunities for further relation, and new to the village is a small patch of greenery equal parts serene and educational. Located across the street from the Fairmont Chateau Whistler is the Salish Stroll, which connects the hotel to the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre (SLCC), weaving a story of First Nations history and culture along the way. Throughout the free 50-metre ethnobotanical walk, which feels quiet and calm despite being right off the road, little sign posts mark the forest’s indigenous indicators, complete with aboriginal name, English name, illustration, and short descriptor. “It was our way of connecting the existing trails to the Fairmont and the SLCC,” says Michelle Leroux, director of public relations for the hotel. “It means people can access the centre without walking all the way around on the road.”
Salish Stroll was completed in April and celebrated with a blessing ceremony in June. The SLCC commissioned Another View Landscaping to cultivate the path, incorporating and preserving the area’s natural abundance, including wildflowers, moss, and lichen. The Fairmont Chateau partners with the SLCC for many events, Leroux explains, and the Salish Stroll only strengthens this relationship. Plus, as she pointedly says: “Any time you can get into the forest is good.”
Photos by Sara Harowitz.