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. ⇐ Click the green buttons to find out more. Connect with us on Facebook
Pick up our 2016 edition trail map for $5 at North Rd Sports & Clothing, at Mid-Island Co-op, or at the tourist info centre.
Rob Brockley organizes GaLTT's volunteer trail-work parties and we have a team of volunteer trail stewards who walk "their" trails regularly and report needed maintenance work to Rob. If you would like to be a trail steward or work crew volunteer, please contact Rob by email.
Check out our Gabriola big tree registry. Over 60 of Gabriola's biggest trees are listed—lots of west coast species, from arbutus to yew.
Trail work party October 30 in Robinson Woods
Rob Brockley says: "The lovely 22-acre property west of Cooper Road is known locally as Robinson Woods. The owner, Sally Robinson, signed a trail licence agreement with GaLTT in early 2012. Volunteer work parties established the trails and fenced an old well as a safety precaution. The owner subsequently also placed a conservation covenant* on her property, and during the most recent monitoring of the covenanted property, GaLTT determined that the old well was still a moderate hazard. After consulting with the land owner and the covenant holder, the decision was made to fill in the well. This work was recently completed with minimal disturbance to the land. We can easily repair the small amount of soil disturbance by spreading a few yards of bark mulch onto the disturbed areas. We’ll also remove the old wire fencing and posts".
Meet at the end of Cooper Rd at 1:30pm Sunday, October 30. Bring gloves, shovels, rakes, and wheelbarrows. A large pile of bark mulch will be waiting!
* A conservation covenant is a voluntary, legal agreement between a landowner and a conservation organization (in this case, American Friends of Canadian Land Trusts) which protects the land in specific ways forever, regardless of who owns the land. As the local agent for “American Friends”, GaLTT is responsible for completing annual monitoring of the property to ensure that the intentions and objectives of the covenant are being maintained.
2016 EVENT REPORTS
The winning raffle ticket for this beautiful photograph of Elder Cedar by John Poirier was drawn by John at the last Saturday Farmers' Market on Thanksgiving weekend. The winner was Linda Tyler (now of Qualicum) who was delighted to have this reminder of her life on Gabriola. Second prize of lovely jewellery by Judy Preston was won by Gabriolan Tessa Spero.
John and Judy's generous donations to GaLTT allowed us to raise nearly $1000 for our work on Gabriola's parks and trails. THANKS JOHN AND JUDY!
GaLTT's 2016 summer work
We welcomed many new and renewing members at our market tables all summer, and during The Commons Fall fair. Maps sales were brisk and GaLTT donated the remaining copies of the 2013 trail map edition (with an update insert) to Gertie for free distribution on the local buses. Interest was high in the proposed density-transfer development that could result in over 300 acres more of protected forest parkland in the centre of the island.
During July and August, Rob Brockley, Kerry Marcus, and Bob Weenk guided evening walks in Elder Cedar Nature Reserve and 707-acre Community Park.
On July 10 our volunteer crew trimmed the trails in Elder Cedar Nature Reserve and, sadly, AGAIN fixed the protective fence and signs after another bout of vandalism.
Throughout July and August crews also continued trimming lesser-known trail loops in 707-acre Park and replacing boardwalks on winter-wet neighbourhood trails.
Trans-Gabriola Trek June 2016
Around 30 people joined the GaLTT guides on June 12 to walk from Descanso Bay Park to Silva Bay. Some chatted, some strode, and some dawdled to look at the wild flowers, but all enjoyed the refreshments at Silva Bay pub afterwards. Gertie carried everyone back to their cars.
Lots of new boardwalk installed
On May 29, an enthusiastic crew carried tools and decking (thanks again Arbutus Lumber!) through Joyce Lockwood Park to the new aluminum bridge, then constructed and installed long stretches of boardwalk over the muddy areas. Your boots will now stay dry during winter and springtime walks on low-lying Kensington Land trails. On June 26 another big group of volunteers installed the second long stretch on the other side of the bridge. What a great project!
Lovely guided coastal woodland walk May 14
Rob Brockley guided a walk through Joyce Lockwood Park and the Kensington Lands enjoying the varying coastal forest ecology as the group moved from damper low-lying areas to drier upland environments.
Annual spring broombash May 1
An enthusiastic group of GaLTT trailwork volunteers and Lions Club members gathered at Drumbeg Park to clear the ever-menacing broom away from the gloriously blooming camas lilies and spring gold in the meadow. It was hard work bending and clipping, but lovely to stroll looking for the smaller invasive plants.
Donation from Arbutus
In early April Arbutus Lumber generously donated and delivered a load of slightly flawed lumber for GaLTT to use to build boardwalks. Thanks guys!
Stalker Road beach trail and Petroglyph trail
On March 6, Rob led a team of volunteers to clip the salal and remove the broom on the trail from Stalker (just before the entrance to Drumbeg), down to the beach. At low tide this trail allows a lovely loop walk back along the beach to Drumbeg Park and up the main park entrance trail to Stalker Road and your car. On March 20 another group clipped salal and installed boardwalks over muddy sections on Petroglyph Trail, the linear park running from Petroglyph Way to South Road behind the Untied Church.
Girl Guides broom-pulling crew February 28
The Gabriola Guides picked all the broom in the Petroglyph Conservancy Area on February 28. It is now broom free for this year. Good work!
Haven Woods trail clipping work party
Rob Brockley's first trail maintenance crew did some clipping in Haven Woods on February 21.
GaLTT guest speakers and AGM February 3
Libby King and and Chuck Desorcy from Greenways Land Trust (based in Campbell River) spoke to us about their inspiring "Adopt-a-trail" program and their work mid-island with several streamkeeper groups. This was followed by our AGM, during which Randy and Lynne Young were awarded Honorary Memberships in GaLTT to acknowledge and thank them for their 10 years of very hard work organizing and participating in GaLTT's trail-work crews. A plaque has been mounted in their honour on the new foot-bridge to the Kensington Lands beyond Joyce Lockwood Park.
New trail loop in Honeysuckle gravel pit
Several volunteers broke a new trail loop to replace a trail closed off by a new house.
Walking options between Honeysuckle and Wild Cherry now are:
start at the end of Honeysuckle, turn right at the open gravel pit area and right again and end up at Colleen
or, turn right at the gravel pit open area and then circle around on the new trail and come out close to Wild Cherry.
Winter broom pulling
In January and February GaLTT's volunteer crews led by Randy Young take advantage of the wet soil to hand-pull young broom plants in Drumbeg and Petroglyph Parks without disturbing the soil too much, exposing seeds to light. In January they and the Lions Club also "extractigated" lots more big broom plants in Drumbeg Park and piled them onto invasive blackberry, killing two birds with one stone. Also Randy and Lynne Young reported that "Hilary Masson and her eight home school ‘Adventure Camp’ kids, used our small extractigators very effectively one morning on the small broom in Drumbeg. Almost all of the small broom is now gone, although every time you turn around, you can see another one."
New year walk January 1
A dozen of us brought the New Year in by walking a beautiful frosty forest loop in the sunshine, led by Kerry Marcus starting from the top of Degnen Road North at 11am.
2015 EVENT REPORTS
Boardwalks installed on Wilkinson Way
During the November rains Wilkinson Way (trail connecting South Road near Dogwood to 707-acre Park) was running like a stream, so Randy's work crews installed sections of boardwalk to aid walkers. Thanks guys!
New signposts in Cox Park November 1
The RDN parks department recently delivered sturdy wood signposts for our lovely, clear directional signs throughout Cox Park. Rob Brockley planned and designed the signs, and Randy's work party started installing them with some heavy spade work on November 1. Thanks all!
End-to-end trail walk October 24
Eighteen of us left Silva Bay at 10am and enjoyed a cool, sunny trek to Surf Lodge. We made brief stops at Tait Road near North Road, and at Tin Can Alley to snack and wait for newcomers (or leave!). The beer at Surf Pub was very welcome, and Gertie took us back to our cars at Silva Bay.
Daphne cull October 18
Our intrepid invasives team culled swathes of toxic daphne laureola (spurge laurel) near Degnen Bay. This invasive evergreen plant that many have severe reactions to, has been taking over the understorey of our forests. Cutting it doesn't work—it must be hauled out by the roots. Check the woods near you and help remove this pest, wearing gloves and goggles. You can borrow an Extractigator tool from GaLTT to pull it out.
WALKWAY in Kensington Lands—September 6
Randy's trail work team carried a narrow aluminum walkway (bought by GaLTT) through Joyce Lockwood Park, and installed it across the gully to improve trail access to Kensington Lands.
Wood decking was attached, and the frame locked into place above the old rotting wood "bridge". That's better!
Summer Guided Walks and market display tables throughout July and August
Bob Weenk, Rob Brockley and Kerry Marcus guided afternoon and evening walks in Descanso Bay Regional Park, Cox Community Park, and 707-acre Park during July and August. Throughout the summer, GaLTT volunteers greeted members and visitors at Saturday morning Farmers' Markets, dispensing information about GALTT's work, renewing memberships, and selling trail maps and guided walk brochures.
Oceans Day Sunday, June 7 at Descanso Bay Park
Our display table was busy at the Oceans Day event as we sold trail maps, chatted with old members, and signed up new ones. The theme this year was Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet, and Streamkeepers' Nick Doe was also there with his microscope investigating plastic microbeads or whatever else might lurk in household products and end up in the ocean...
Trans Gabriola Trek from Silva Bay to Surf Pub May 24
About 40 people and half a dozen well-behaved leashed dogs started off from Silva Bay. Some left and others joined us while we picnicked near Tait Road, then we were off again through 707-acre Park to Tin Can Alley where a few more joined us to walk the trails and roads to Phase 4 and down to the welcoming staff (and beer) at Surf Pub. Gertie carried us back to Silva Bay in comfort after our great 19km walk.
Forest bathing for mental health May 8
In search of tranquility, 18 of us went forest bathing in Elder Cedar Nature Reserve's beautiful forest for an hour or so on May 8, and learned lots about the forest as we walked quietly. Research about the practice shows that time spent in nature lowers stress levels, with resulting mental and physical health benefits.
Drumbeg broom pull May 3
Randy reported "The Drumbeg broom bash on May 3 went well, but we only got about a third of the blossoms cut down, with all of our seven loppers in use. David stayed later to work on some sporadic smaller stems closer to the water."
Commons Spring Fair May 2
Lots of people visited our table in the brisk breeze at the Commons' Spring Fair, to say hello, take out GaLTT memberships, and buy our new walk brochures for Cox Park and Haven Woods.
Earth Day walk and picnic April 22
A guided walk on Cox Park's newest trail near the upper reaches of Mallett Creek, followed by a social picnic in Descanso Bay Regional Park were a lovely way to celebrate Earth Day on Gabriola. Especially Rebecca's yummy earthday cake.
New art trail at WI Hall March 17
GaLTT and Gabriola Arts Council (GAC) signed a trail licence agreement on March 17 to make a public trail between North and South Roads near WI Hall. Soon the trail will have art installations along the way. On March 22 volunteers cleared the trail and pulled invasive broom in preparation for the art.
Spring broom bash in Drumbeg March 8
On March 8 GaLTT and the Lions Club cleared out lots of small broom from Drumbeg Park, working before the spring gold and camas start to bloom in the meadow.
Clearing a new trail near Community Hall February 22
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. VP Norm Harburn awarded Honorary 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.