The Kenora Detachment of the OPP is investigating a break-in at the Mount Evergreen Ski Club and Boreal Forest School.
On Tuesday morning, staff and students with the Boreal Forest School found that someone had broken into the Mt. Evergreen Ski Chalet building, broke a window, and stole some supplies overnight.
“There was glass everywhere. The window had been busted out. My initial reaction was frustration, anger, and sadness,” said Kay Rasmussen, owner and operator of the Boreal Forest School and Mount Evergreen volunteer board member.
“Mount Evergreen is based on volunteers. Incidents like this takes so much out of our volunteers and our budget, It was so upsetting. Any setbacks to the budget are hard on our operations. Anything that interrupts our budget for the Ski Hill can really impact the amount of staff we can hire and the services that we provide.”
Police were immediately called, who then started an investigation into the incident. DNA evidence was left at the scene, and pictures from a nearby security camera were given to police.
As well as starting an investigation, OPP officer Kelly Daymont spent time talking to and calming students, who were anxious about the possibility of a criminal breaking into their learning environment. Daymont also helped students and staff clean up the mess that was left behind, and let students explore her cruiser.
“Our students were so upset. One of our students was crying because they care so much about Mount Evergreen. Our students use the Ski Club in the winter and for the Boreal Forest School. They have a strong attachment to this place. A lot of our students were really worried and upset about what happened.”
“Officer Daymont was so kind and caring with our students. She took the time to shake their hands, answer their questions, and she talked about the steps of the investigation to try to find who had broken in. She let the students know that they were safe, and that they would hopefully find who broke in. It really made the students feel safe and comfortable. She really went out of her way to make us all feel better.”
If anyone has any information about the incident, they are asked to contact the Kenora OPP at 807-548-5534, 1-888-310-1122, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).
Boreal Forest School began in 2015 at the Mount Evergreen Ski Club. This summer, 275 students are enrolled in the program – which teaches students ages 4 – 8. Students spend the day outside to explore the land, learn about the forest, animals and flora around them, as well as survival skills. If you’re interested in learning more about the Boreal Forest School, you are asked to contact [email protected]