The aims of Gabriola Land and Trails Trust are to secure, develop, and sustain a network of parkland and trails on Gabriola Island for the benefit of the public, and to preserve sites of environmental, historical, and social importance. ⇐ To find out more about us,
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Now we get down to some real work. Drumbeg broom needs to be pulled again, well before the spring flowers arrive. Conditions are a lot dryer than we had hoped, so the extractigators should concentrate on the shorter one-year broom. Pulling larger multi-year broom would expose soil to the sun, allowing a lot of seed to germinate. We will bring all the loppers for the larger broom, which could then be piled on top of the blackberry patches. Meet at Drumbeg Park, 1:30 Sunday, March 8, and and we will try to round up all of the extractigators. Bring your loppers.
2015 EVENT REPORTS
February 22 work party cleared a new trail
Randy's crew clipped and sawed to break a great new trail that runs from Garland Drive near the Commmunity Hall through to Lois Lane at the end of Stokes Road. It has a loop through a delightful Garry oak meadow too. The trail is great for walkers, bikes, and horses. Thanks to John and Nancy Peirce and their neighbours, Jo Anne Fath and Miguel Johnstone for these new trail licences allowing public access across their land.
AGM February 4
GALTT held its AGM on February 4, 2015 to report on the activities of 2014 and to elect new Board members. Vice President Norm Harburn awarded Honorary Lifetime Memberships to:
John Peirce for his significant work during his Presidency developing GaLTT's capacity to hold covenants and issue trail licences on Gabriola, and for helping to facilitate BC's first cross-border covenant with American Friends of Canadian Land Trusts (for Robinson Woods).
Leigh Anne Milman for her important conservation work on Gabriola, helping to preserve Elder Cedar and Coats Marsh.
Anne Drozd for her diligent work over the last four years organizing GaLTT's acounting system and membership records.
GaLTT also acknowledged "super volunteers" Sam Betts, Peter McLaren, and Norm Harburn for their trail work. The Board presented its Strategic Plan for 2015 to 2020, which was developed with the help of our members last year. Before the meeting Dr Kees Groot gave a very amusing and informative talk about the sex lives of salmon.
2014 EVENT REPORTS
Randy Young reported that 65 different volunteers donated a total of 385 hours of volunteer labour last year clipping and sawing trails, installing walkways, and removing invasive species. That's not counting what he and Lynne did!
Haven Woods trail licence
Last summer GaLTT signed a trail licence agreement with UK landowner Harriet Thomas allowing public access to her beautiful "Haven Woods", which stretches from the end of King Road up behind Twin Beaches Centre down to Berry Point Road at Fin Road. She invited GaLTT to extend the trail system on her land, which now, through two additional private trail licences, links to Cox Community Park via Bruce Lynn Drive.
Installing a new Blue Heron Park walkway
Many GaLTT volunteers turned out in freezing weather to bridge the ditch to improve access from Whalebone Drive to Blue Heron Park on November 30. Thanks to all! The neighbours will be delighted that walkers won't be traipsing across their lawn any more.
Chip-shovelling and trail maintenance in November
In pouring rain several damp and devoted volunteers helped wheelbarrow and shovel woodchips (kindly donated) from a pile at one end of the island into Randy Young's truck to be transported to the other end and shovelled out again onto a rough and boggy trail. Another team clipped the trail in Petroglyph Park and checked the petroglyph site for broom.
Trans-Gabriola Trek from Silva Bay to the Skol Pub October 18
Three dozen walkers and half a dozen well-behaved dogs met our GaLTT guides at Silva Bay on October 18 to walk the length of the island on our trail system. The weather was miraculously clear after several days of rain, and Randy's work crews had been busy clipping wet salal in the previous weeks to ensure clear, dry passage. It was a grand opportunity to meet and greet, and we were glad to refresh ourselves at the Skol before riding Gertie back to Silva Bay.
Enlarged trail system in Haven Woods
In September and October, volunteers developed new licensed trail loops in Haven Woods (which extends from King Road behind Twin Beaches Centre to Berry Point Road near Fin Road) including a trail to a meadow of vanilla leaf under a huge maple, which the landowner wanted walkers to enjoy.
Breaking a new Cox Park trail
On August 24, fifteen enthusiasts broke a new trail in Cox Park on a route (shown in red on this map) suggested by Rob Brockley. The forested trail passes a nice view of a lake on the adjoining property and runs alongside Mallett Creek. It joins up with the older trail system near the River Place footbridge over the wetland.
Summer walks with Weenk
Throughout the summer many people enjoyed guided walks iin 707-acre Park with Bob Weenk, starting from various entrances and enjoying the seasonally changing plants such as the masses of daisies in July in the open areas.
Trans Gabriola Trek May 25
30 enthusiastic walkers set off from Descanso Bay Park campground in light rain to walk the length of Gabriola on trails (including a visitor from Stuttgart who saw our poster at the Market).
We stopped for lunch at the high point lookout in 707 and were joined by half a dozen more walkers at the Tait Road trail junction. 19 km of broad gravel walks, narrow salal-whipped paths, sloped forest trails, and a few stretches of pavement got us to Silva Bay pub—a welcome destination.
Another damp day at the Commons Spring Fair, May 3
Our big dry canopy was popular at The Commons Spring Fair. Thanks to all who dropped by.
Streamkeepers school event April 17
Streamkeepers visited Winthuysen Creek in Descanso Bay Park with the Grade 6/7 class from Gabriola Elementary School, to show how they assess and monitor streams.
Strategic Planning workshop, April 5
28 board and supporting members spent an afternoon under Dyan Dunsmoor-Farley's guidance, discussing possible futures for GaLTT as we move into our second decade. Many good ideas emerged and we await Dyan's report so that we can formulate our action plan. Stay tuned!
Streamkeepers community event at Winthuysen Creek, March 30
On March 30, streamkeeper set up four demonstration stations in Descanso Bay Regional Park campground, to demonstrate how they assess stream habitats.
AGM and speaker February 4
Before GaLTT's AGM Katie Blake, conservation coordinator (BC Region) for the Nature Conservancy of Canada spoke about NCC's approach to conservation in our modern world. She described a successful estuary restoration project in Campbell River.
President John Peirce and Treasurer Tom Cameron presented their annual reports for 2013. To mark GaLTT's 10th anniversary, Sally Robinson and Don & Louanne McCollum were awarded Honorary Life Memberships in recognition of their outstanding contributions to GaLTT's work.
The slate of 14 Board members was elected by acclamation. Peirce thanked retiring board members Peter Barchyn, Dyan Dunsmoor-Farley, Catherine Adam Legg, and Bob Weenk for their contributions, and welcomed newly elected board members Heather Kay, Kerry Marcus, and Josh Taylor.
2013 EVENT REPORTS
Randy Young says: "The GaLTT workparty log for 2013 shows that 60 different people spent 260 hours installing walkways, removing invasive species, and clipping trails. Many additional hours were spent constructing walkways, and creating and installing several kinds of signs." Thanks all!
Shore-bird identification walk
Jeff Reitkerk led about a dozen people on an early morning walk in Sandwell Park on Sunday December 15 to observe and identify shore-birds. He also discussed the importance of Gabriola's annual bird count, which he organized this year.
Winter walking in and around 707-acre Park
Bob Weenk helped several walkers orient themselves in 707-acre Park on November 9th starting from Ricki Road entrance, and they found wonderful fungus displays as they walked. He and Catherine Legg also led a walk on December 14 from 707-acre Park to Tait Road and then back through the trail system on the government lands on the north side of North Road.
Beach access signage work-party
Randy's work parties placed new yellow-painted concrete markers at the shore ends of many of Gabriola's beach accesses on November 10th. GaLTT was asked to help because visitors often find it difficult to locate the public accesses after a walk along the beach and end up using private stairs and driveways.
Bird watching in Coats Marsh
In the misty, cool early morning of October 20, a dozen or so GaLTT enthusiasts joined Jeff Reitkerk to view migratory and other birds in Coats Marsh.
Streamkeepers' first anniversary
On October 19th enthusiastic supporters young and old gathered at the commons to celebrate Gabriola Streamkeepers' achievements in their first year of operation. All enjoyed demonstrations of what they do, speeches of thanks to their supporters, and a cake decorated with their beautiful new logo. Go to their webpage to see what they've been up to.
Descanso Bay to Silva Bay walk
On October 6th, GaLTT led a walk the length of Gabriola using the public trail system as much as possible.It was a glorious day for walking and more than 70 people joined us along the way. We also broke in our newly-clipped trail from 707-acre Park to Tait Road—a great new addition to our trail system, linking the north and south ends of the island.
Antique Rock Show at the Commons Fall Fair
Well, it POURED on September 22, though some valiant souls came to chat about their rocks with Nick and Steve, and peered through Nick's microscope. Our new trail maps and the pebble brochures passed their waterproofing test, and GaLTT's cosy, rain-resistant vests were popular...
Summer guided walks
Throughout this summer GaLTT partnered with Regional District of Nanaimo to provide an opportunity to learn about West coast trees and native plants while enjoying some of Gabriola's trails.
Each Saturday, groups met GaLTT board member Rob Brockley—a retired forester—at the day use area of Descanso Bay Regional Park to walk looping routes through Descanso Bay Regional Park and Cox Community Park, connecting via two of GaLTT's licensed trails across private land.
Another board member, Bob Weenk guided several groups through 707-acre Community Park. These morning and evening walks started at various entrances, and Bob helped walkers to become confident in navigating the complex system of trails in our biggest park.
World Move for Health Day walk—report
On May 10 a couple of groups of walkers explored the trails in 707-acre Park with the help of GaLTT's volunteer guides. Leaving from different entrances they demystified the trails, noted the great new signage (thank you RDN!), and enjoyed the young recovering forest.
Earth day walk along False Narrows—report
On Monday, April 22 John Peirce and Nick Doe guided a low-tide shoreline walk along False Narrows from Brickyard Beach to Spring Beach. It was a fine spring day, and the numbers varied from 35 to 57 over the course of the walk. They started at the site of the brickyard that employed Gabriolans from the 1890s to 1952, and followed False Narrows with lovely views of nearby Mudge, Link, De Courcy, and Valdes Islands, as well as distant snow-capped mountains.
Groups paused and chatted as significant anthropological, archeological, geological, and paleontological features along the route were pointed out, and all enjoyed the information John, Nick and other participants provided.
Walkers passed shale bluffs, middens, waterfront homes, the traditional clambeds of the Snunéymuxw, and South Road farms. They found small fragments of giant clam fossils, ammonites, brachiopods, springs, and a waterfall. They inspected the grand new stairway to the beach from South Road Community Park and ended at the cliffs at the southeast end of Spring Beach.
McConvey-Malaspina trail licence
In Aprill 2013, GaLTT signed a trail licence agreement with Tom and Charlotte Cameron, officially allowing public access to a long-used neighbourhood forested trail that runs through their property on McConvey Road. The trail runs from McConvey Road near Cox Community Park’s edge to James Way, which connects via a road allowance trail to Malaspina Drive. (Photo courtesy of Derek Kilbourn, The Gabriola Sounder).
Thanks Tom and Charlotte!