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Volunteers hope to build new home for burned burl

Volunteers are fundraising to restore the world’s largest burl to its former glory in Port McNeill.

The burl, a 30-tonne growth harvested from a Sitka spruce, was burned by vandals in May. Its shelter was destroyed and the burl itself was badly scorched. Locals are now hoping to build a new shelter and clean up the damaged burl so it can once again serve as the town’s most popular roadside attraction.

Port McNeill chief administrative officer Brenda Johnson says the town is applying for grant funding to cover some of the costs, and also supports a group of local volunteers who are leading the charge. They already have local businesses lined up to help build a new concrete pad and cedar structure and roof. They are not asking for any funding from the town, just their support to go ahead with the work.

They are hoping to have it built before fall rains and are aiming to be done by August 19, when this year’s OrcaFest begins.

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“We have our annual OrcaFest, they are hoping to get going and maybe finish by then depending on funding,” she says. “They are also looking for donations from other sources as well.”

Anyone who wants to donate to the restoration efforts can make an e-transfer to [email protected], or call the town office at 250-956-3111.

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