The word Capilano comes from a First Nations name that was originally spelled Kia’palano, which meant “beautiful river”. Kia’palano was the name of a great Squamish chief who lived here a long time ago. Over time “Kia’palano” turned into “Capilano”
Capilano Canyon is at the south end of the Coast Mountain Range and was formed about 115 million years ago. To get across it we had to use the marvellous Capilano Suspension Bridge! The bridge, made of wood, metal and rope stretches 450 feet across. That's 100 feet longer than a football pitch! And, 230 feet above the Capilano River. It really wobbled a LOT!!!
Once over the other side there was a treetop adventure waiting for us where we could could walk high above the magnificent forest floor. My favourite sign was the one that said, "Warning! Extreme nature ahead!" They built the Treetop Adventure without damaging any trees, which I found amazing! They didn't use any nails and did it all by hand. The trees are circled with a steel collar that spreads the pressure of the walkways and it's actually good for the trees because it makes them stronger.
Did You Know That There Are Fish In The Trees?
At Capilano we learned that they have recently found a kind of nitrogen that is usually only found in the Pacific Ocean inside the rainforest trees! How did it get there? Well, it turns out salmon transport the nitrogen from the Ocean to the rivers when they return home to have babies (to spawn). Bears catch the salmon and take them into the forest to eat them. Birds and insects also eat the leftovers, distributing the nitrogen throughout the forest. In one year, a bear is estimated to bring 600-700 salmon bodies into the forest!
Science Class :)
Rainforests are sometimes referred to as the Earth's lungs, and they are responsible for 28% of the world's oxygen supply. Trees take up carbon dioxide and let out oxygen for us to breathe in a process called photosynthesis. One big tree at Capilano can provide enough oxygen for a family of four for a lifetime!