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: ⇐ Click the buttons at left, or
Check out our Gabriola big tree registry
We have added new information to Gabriola's big tree registry. Over 60 of Gabriola's biggest trees are now listed—lots of west coast species, from arbutus to yew. Browse the website and email us to register your favourite big trees.
Pick up one of our trail maps in the village at North Road Sports and Clothing or at the tourist information centre.
Trail work party Sunday October 18
"Daphne laureola (spurge laurel) is our invasive target for the fall. This very invasive, toxic plant beloved by florists is taking over Gabriola's forest understorey. Some people are very sensitive to all parts of these plants, so preventing their spread here is worthwhile."
Meet 1:30 p.m. Sunday, October 18 at the start of St. Catherine’s Avenue near where the trail with the rubber tire stairs goes down to the beach in Degnen Bay. Bring gloves and goggles. We will have GaLTT's extractigators to pull the plants.
End-to-end guided trail walk Saturday October 24
Details to follow. We'll start at Silva Bay at 10am, and end up mid-afternoon at the Surf pub. Watch this space!
2015 EVENT REPORTS
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 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.
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.
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.