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.
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Come see us at the market on Saturday mornings throughout the summer—visit our display table and pick up a newsletter or trail map. While you're there, renew your membership or offer to volunteer on our work parties.
GaLTT work party Sunday, May 26th – GO BROOM BASH!
Right now while it's blooming bright yellow, Scotch broom is easy to see and it's the best time to cut it. Use loppers or a saw, to cut below the foliage. Randy Young says: "I would like everyone to head out of their driveway, towards the heaviest broom in their neighbourhood. You can borrow a sharpened GaLTT lopper from me before you start. Lopping broom on the road allowance is OK, but not on private property without the owner’s permission.
I will be heading towards the village from The Strand, and hope to get to the Skol Pub by about 3:00. Transportation home has been arranged for 3:45 (that should give us enough time) and you are welcome to a ride."
New Trail licence
On April 26, 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!
SUMMER GUIDED WALKS:
Sunday, June 2, 1pm: Take a walk on the forest side
Join two of our local silviculture experts for a 90-minute walk exploring the wonders of the island's hidden corners. Meet in the visitors' parking lot at Descanso Bay Campground.
July & August: Welcome to the 707-acre Community Park
Four guided walks to teach us how to navigate through our biggest park. Bob Weenk will lead us and help us enjoy the park with confidence.
July 12, at 10am starting at the North Road, Tin Can Alley entrance.
July 26 at 6.30pm starting at North Road in "the tunnel".
August 9 at 10am starting from the Fischer Road entrance
August 23 at 6.30pm starting from the Ricki Road entrance.
September 22 Descanso to Drumbeg
Stay tuned for details on a walking and trail-bike riding tour from one end of the island to the other!
World Move for Health Day walk in 707-acre Park—report
On Friday, 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. This was the second in GaLTT's series of guided walks.
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.
AGM February 4
John Peirce reported on our 2012 activities. In particular he honoured Sally Robinson for placing a covenant on her forested property between Cooper and Thompson Roads. The covenant is ready to be signed with American Friends of Canadian Land Trusts—their first in BC.
Advising accountant Anne Drozd presented the Financial Report for 2012 noting increased membership and revenues from fund-raising activities as well as several in memoriam donations for Richard Welsh.
Members approved a new by-law (requested by Environment Canada's Ecological Gifts Program) dealing with disposal of protected land in the unlikely event that GaLTT be dissolved.
Newly elected board members were Madeleine Ani, Peter Barchyn, Rob Brockley, Dyan Dunsmoor-Farley, and Catherine A. Legg. See the board webpage for continuing board members, officers, and committee appointments.
Ken Millard, Coordinator of The Galiano Conservancy, described how their impressive organization grew as land was accumulated in conservancies and parks. He discussed their restoration and conservation activities, fund-raising, staffing (6 paid staff, 2 full-time), networking with other conservation organizations, and their plans for an urban youth Learning Centre on their most recent 180-acre tract of land.
THE PAST YEAR'S NEWS
Covenants and trail licences: Work continues negotiating with landowners (and in one case, with American Friends of Canadian Land Trusts), to put covenants in place on privately held land, protecting it against future degradation or development while providing the landowner with a tax break.
GaLTT has signed several new trail licences with landowners, allowing public access across private land. By the end of 2012 we had signed seven licences, and negotiations continue on others.
We produced a new trail map—This beautiful big map (designed by Cameron Murray and Judy Preston) clearly shows public trails and includes information about new walks and trail licences on Gabriola. (A new edition on tougher paper is in the works and it will include several new trails licensed since the first edition, as well as correcting a few small errors.)
GaLTT has a registry listing the biggest trees on Gabriola. Please measure your favourite giants, and tell us where they are. Measure the circumference of the trunk about 1.3 metres (average) above the ground. Do not trespass, and please be respectful of the environment—don't trample the tree roots or surrounding plants. Email the details to GaLTT at email@example.com or to David Boehm at dfboehm@ shaw.ca.
Trail signs and guided walks in 707-acre Community Park
GaLTT work crews helped the RDN install trail signs and some maps in 707-acre Park. With our new paper trail map and these signs, even the most timid trail walkers can brave the confusing loops of 707! Last summer GaLTT board member Bob Weenk led several guided walks in the Park, starting at a different entrance each week.
Work parties—boardwalk building, trail breaking, maintenance, and signage,
pulling invasive plants, and scavenging decking
Work has continued on the Gabriola Commons boardwalk, giving access to the lower allotment gardens in the wet season, and a dry trail between North and South Roads. In addition to installing trail signage in 707-acre Park and at trailheads of newly licensed trails, GaLTT volunteers have been busy all year pulling invasive plants, clipping trails both old and new, breaking new trail systems, and installing signage at trail heads and junctions. GaLTT volunteers also helped with the landscaping at the new clinic. Last May, the crew pulled nails and sawed boards from Don and Mary Butt's old sundeck. Randy says: "Don's deck has produced 216 three-foot boards, which would give us 108 feet of walkway."
Some of Butts' wood had already been used for boardwalks in the Commons and in Sally Robinson's woods. Randy says they had to: "…haul in concrete blocks, stringer frames, and decking." They used portable electric drills to assemble the boardwalks.