Tosh Harvey: A Young Forest Guardian

I first met Tosh Harvey on a winter excursion through the Children's Forest, an area of forest near Carrington Bay that is owned by Island Timberlands.

I was immediately struck by how at home this boy was in the forest. His eyes weren't looking down at his feet, but were darting around all over the place on the lookout for forest critters and edible mushrooms. He wasn't the most talkative kid, but I could tell he had a deep intelligence about him that came from spending his life climbing over logs, building fires, growing food, and playing in the trees. 

I bumped into Tosh's parents one magical evening on Marina Island, just off the coast of Cortes. His whole family was kayaking at dusk and came out to the island to watch the sun go down. It happened to be the solstice and the night of the super-moon. From a narrow strip of sand jutting out from the island known as Shark Spit, we howled as the sun dipped below the horizon, and fell silent when we turned around to see the full moon rising almost simultaneously. I've never had a more intense feeling of being on a giant orb rotating in space. 

It was around this time that Tosh's mom Lovena approached me and asked if I would consider interviewing her son Tosh for my film. She said he has a lot to say and will surprise me with his passionate insights. I wholeheartedly agreed, and came the following morning to interview Tosh. As you will gather from the video, this forest child absolutely blew my mind. You can tell when kids are just regurgitating things they've heard their parents say. Tosh did not give me that impression at all. These were all conclusions he had reached of his own accord.

Him and his friends were also building an entire village in the woods from sticks and grasses. They had homes, a cafe, and a sports arena. And man, what a tree-climber this kid is. I've never seen someone get up to the top of a tree so quickly, or swing from limb to limb with such ease. After filming him and his friends play for a while, Tosh went to help his dad Ryan chop wood for the fireplace. As Ryan and Lovena had been in a horrendous car accident a year ago, they were still recovering, so Ryan chopped wood with a mechanical splitter. 

Perhaps the most emotional part of the interview was listening to Tosh talk about his parents' accident, and how the community rallied together to bring them food and support them during this rough time. The conclusion that Tosh drew from this experience was that despite the powerful forces they are up against in the fight with Island Timberlands, he knows they are going to win because they've got love on their side, while IT are only after money.