Last week (June 30) Accent Inns celebrated 25 years in Business. What started as an exciting and unknown venture for founder Terry Farmer has become a 25 year success story. With Mandy Farmer at the helm of Accent Inns for the last few years, our BC owned hotel chain has focused even more on our our place in the environment. Accent Inns has always been a great supporter of local BC communities and for us, caring for our surroundings was just considered the right way to operate a business. From recycling bins to asking guests to re-use towels to save on laundry soap going into the drains, Accent Inns was an early adopter of such ideals.
As environmental concerns have grown globally our hotel company has and continues to look at further ways to minimize our impact. Recent approaches such as partnering with Fortis BC on in-room sensors are good example of this.
Another and just as important role for Accent Inns has been to partner with and support several local organizations that work hard to preserve, protect, advise and support initiatives regarding the beautiful environment we have come to enjoy right here in B.C. From our Fish for the Future program, supporting the Sierra Club of B.C. and growing our long standing relationship with the Land Conservancy of B.C. (TLC).
As we were planning our 25th anniversary celebrations we thought it was important to recognize the importance of being green.
Find a way to include such an important value in our legacy events. With the help of Bill Turner (Exec Director) and Nathalie Chambers (Agricultural Programs) of the TLC, Accent Inns was able to go ahead with our idea of planting 25 trees in honor of our 25 years. One tree was planted at each of our Accent Inns; Victoria hotel, Vancouver Airport Hotel, Burnaby hotel, Kamloops hotel, Kelowna hotel and the Blue Ridge Inn in Victoria B.C. The additional 19 trees needed to fill our 25 total mandate are being planted at the TLC’s Madrona farm in Victoria B.C. The very first tree was planted at the farm on June 28 by Mandy Farmer personally. This was chosen to be a BC dogwood tree which is very fitting as Accent Inns is proud to be a BC owned company.
**The Pacific Dogwood, Cornus nuttallii (syn. Benthamidia nuttallii), is a species of dogwood native to western North America from lowlands of southern British Columbia to mountains of southernCalifornia. An inland population occurs in central Idaho. Cultivated examples are found as far north as Haida Gwaii. It is a small to medium-sized deciduous tree, reaching 10-25 m tall.It is the provincial flower of British Columbia. Students who graduated from a BC High School curriculum program are awarded the “Dogwood Diploma” from the Ministry of Education (Officially, British Columbia Certificate of Graduation).
The additional 18 trees are slated for planting on the farm as the season progresses and as directed by the Managers of the Madrona Farm. The farm itself is a wonderful testiment to the work of the TLC in preserving our local BC environment and historical areas. Located 10 minutes from downtown Victoria, Madrona Farm provides food to over 3,500 homes in the Greater Victoria area. The 27-acre farm produces a diversity of 105 crops, 12 months a year. As an innovative model for sustainable agriculture, David and Nathalie Chambers, the current farmers on the property, will hold the first long-term lease to continue farming while providing education and training for apprentices.
Farming on Madrona is guided by the memory of Lawrence and Ruth, a noted naturalist who passed away in 2002, and by a commitment to environmental, social and economic sustainability. Nathalie Chambers, David’s wife, explains that “the farm operates as close as possible to a natural ecosystem” and that everything on the farm respects the memory of Ruth and Lawrence and the values that guided their agricultural practice.
In addition to the agricultural values of the site, Madrona Farm is also an important ecological area. The wildlife ponds provide excellent
habitat for a wide variety of bird species. In 2004, they began planting a wooded corridor of Douglas fir, Garry oak, arbutus, red alder and several other native tree species. Over 130 fruit trees have been planted to stabilize the farm’s expansive, southwest facing slope. Madrona Farm is the happy home of many species of birds, including great horned and screech owls, eagles, and herons. Nathalie and David have also created a wildlife corridor from their farm to Mount Douglas Park.
Thanks to all our partners and friends in supporting Accent Inns business, community and environmental values these past 25 years and especially to the folks at Madrona farm for allowing Accent Inns to connect with such a wonderful part of Victoria B.C.
**definition from wikipedia