Mr. Speaker, Edmonton is noted for having one of the largest urban parkland areas per capita in North America. This spectacular river valley park system, combined with the city's role as the gateway to the northern forests of Alberta, led to the designation of Edmonton as the 1994 national forestry capital.
The purpose of this designation is to promote a better understanding of the dynamic nature of sustainable forests, to highlight the significance of the forest industry on the economic prosperity of the community and to recognize the historical contribution of the forests to Edmonton for two centuries.
Recently I had an opportunity to participate in the ceremonial sod breaking for the John Walter Forest Interpretive Centre. The Interpretive Centre is part of a major legacy project involving a forest capital trail in the river valley and other educational projects.
The John Walter Interpretive Centre is an excellent example of what can be achieved when all levels of government, industry and community interest groups work together to achieve a common goal. The Interpretive Centre will be a major educational legacy for future generations.
I would like to congratulate the city of Edmonton and the organizers from the Forestry Capital of Canada Society for having the vision and initiative to undertake this impressive project.