Orchid Count 2017

On The Bluff Trail June 13, 2017: Lady’s slipper orchids at left, albino below; Labrador tea in flower, the last of the Rhodora in flower, swallowtail butterflies, huckleberry in flower and swamp sparrow in song.
Click on image for larger version.
On this hot, bright mid-June day, we (David P and Kai) counted the number of lady’s slipper orchids that could be seen from the trail between the trailhead and the Pot Lake junction. I counted one side going in, Kai the other and we switched on the way back giving two independent counts for both sides of the trail. As in 2015 and 2016, Kai (now 15) viewed far more than David P (“a senior”)

Here are the numbers from today and from 2014, 2015 and 2016.

June 13, 2017: 135 (Dave) 336 (Kai)

Lady’s Slipper orchids abound on the Bluff Trail (2016) : 434 (Kai)

Orchid Counts 2015: Good News!: 147 (Dave) 262 (Kai)

Mid-June Wildflowers on The Bluff Trail (2014): 133 (Dave)

So… Kai’s number was down a bit from last year, but above his count for 2015. Overall, the lady’s slipper orchids appear to be doing quite OK, which is welcome news given that use of the trail increased greatly over the last 2 years. Other native species were doing just fine as well, some shown in the photo panel at top.

Another welcome result: No exotic plant species were observed, although there are many on the BLT. Together, these indicators suggest that the Ecological Integrity on this busiest section of The Bluff Trail is being maintained.

Also, no garbage and no fire pits for which we can thank the many volunteers, and the hikers!

May 15-June 12: Final Public Engagement, Halifax Green Network Plan

The Halifax Regional Municipality is conducting the third and final phase of public engagement for the Halifax Green Network Plan, a decision-making framework for the conservation of a region-wide network of open space. A number of planning and implementation directions have been drafted using public input and study results from the earlier phases of work and are contained in the Halifax Green Network Plan Primer Report.

Public engagement for this phase will occur in a series of public meetings across HRM from May 15 to June 12, 2017. The most convenient session for most Backland folks will be May 16 6:00 – 8:00 pm at the Atlantica Hotel Halifax (Guild Hall) 1980 Robie Street.

Read more on HRM website

WRWEO AGM 2017 – Documents and Material

WRWEO / The Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail
Annual General Meeting
30 March 2017
BMO Community Room, 2nd Floor, Halifax Central Library
5:30-6:00 Registration
6:00-8:00 AGM
8:00-8:30 Networking

We will be serving a sweet treat at the end of the meeting, but will not be serving beverages. Please feel free to bring a travel mug and purchase your own beverage prior to the meeting. Travel mugs are permitted in the meeting room.

In an effort to reduce consumption, printed copies of the following reports will NOT be provided at the AGM. You may wish to review the reports prior to the meeting and make your own decision about what items you need to print.

AGM 2017 DRAFT Agenda

2016 03 31 AGM Minutes to be approved

Some Images from the Sign-In Book (Facebook Link)

Chairs Report 2017

WRWEO Financial Statements 2016 – for 2017 AGM

Bluff Trail Stewardship Program: General Overview

GreenNetwork A draft of the Halifax Green Network Planning and Implementation Strategy and “Plan Primer” have been released by HRM and go to Regional Council today (March 23, 2017) to be approved for upcoming public consultations. It is expected those consultations will take place in April. The Primer provides a good overview of the Green Network plan, with lots of maps. It’s recommended reading!

WRWEO’s Annual General Meeting – Thursday March 30, 2017

Woodens River Watershed Environmental Organization (WRWEO) builder of the

Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail

Frederick Lake, near the Bluff Trail
Frederick Lake, Hubley, NS

Introducing the Bluff Trail Stewardship Program
Helping the Trail We Love

Thursday March 30th, 2017 – Halifax Central Library
BMO Community Room, 2nd Floor
Doors open for registration at 5:30 PM
Meeting 6PM – 8PM

Optional WRWEO membership available at door $5
For more information contact: info@wrweo.ca

Call for applications: Five Bridges Wilderness Heritage Trust Environmental Stewardship Grants

The Five Bridges Wilderness Heritage Trust (“the Trust”) is a volunteer community organization dedicated to protecting and enhancing the environment and conducting research, promoting recreation, and educating the public relative to the Five Bridge Lakes Wilderness Area (“FBLWA”).

The Trust wishes to promote local volunteer initiatives by making funds raised through the Bay Treasure Chest available to support projects that are consistent with the Trust’s goals and objectives. The theme of this round of grant applications is “Trails Development.”

Application Deadline: April 1, 2017

Detailed information and application instructions can be found on the Trust’s web site: http://fivebridgestrust.ca/wp/

Grant poster, 2017

The Bluff Trail Needs Your Help Raising Funds for Stewardship Program

The Woodens River Watershed Environmental Organization (WRWEO) and The Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail need your help to ensure that the Bluff Trail can continue as a favourite destination for naturalists and outdoor adventurers.

Please make a donation today.  

Donations can be made by a cheque written to: St. Margaret’s Bay Stewardship Association and mailed to WRWEO 3650 Hammonds Plains Road, Suite 14, Unit 300, Upper Tantallon, Nova Scotia B3Z 4R3 or online through the Canada Helps portal on the Heart of the Bay website (http://www.heartofthebay.ca/donate) – select: Bluff Trail as the fund you wish to support. Thank you!

The large volume of visitors to the Bluff Trail has resulted in a disturbing increase in the amount and degree of harmful human impacts on the trail, such as: increased garbage including toilet paper, illegal fire pits, cutting of live and dead trees, destruction of lichens and small plants, as well as the widening and braiding of trails.

WRWEO, with the support of Nova Scotia Environment, will collaborate with the St. Margaret’s Bay Stewardship Association to initiate The Bluff Trail Stewardship Program (BTSP). Under the direction of a Stewardship Coordinator, volunteer trail stewards will help trail users learn more about caring for and maintaining the trail and help improve their Leave No Trace (LNT) practices while on the trail.

The creation and management of The Bluff Trail Stewardship Program requires funding that is not available to WRWEO through our usual funding sources. This is why we are asking you to contribute. 

Here is a link for information on the BTSP.

 UPDATE:

WRWEO raised $535 from Dec 10, 2016 to January 25, 2017, WRWEO also had a commitment for another $1300 (through monthly $50 instalments) for a total of $1,835 of pledged donations.
On January 25th 2017, WRWEO sent a second call to our membership to donate and announced that WRWEO had been approached by an anonymous supporter who had pledged to match any new donations (up to a total of $3 000.00) received before March 1st, 2017. The friends of The Bluff Trail responded with a further $1,450 in donations that will be matched by our anonymous supporter (who provided $1500) for a sub-total of $2,950 plus the $1,835 from the initial request for donations, for a grand total of $4,785.

Trail Build – 5 trail users address trail braiding and wet areas

We had some volunteers working on The Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail on Saturday Nov 12, 2016. We had 9 people sign up and 5 people show up but we managed to address seven areas where the trail was braiding and we also fixed 3 meters of wet area by hardening it with found stone. Thanks to our great volunteers (but we want to remind everyone that the Bluff Trail is maintained by all users).

img_20161112_095500

Click image to see Google Photos Album of the work – or click here.