Notice to Users of The Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail – Trail Open, parking lot is now open, users need to follow social distancing rules

Due to the ongoing concerns of the spread of COVID-19, and the provincial declaration of a State of Emergency, the Woodens River Watershed Environmental Organization (WRWEO) – the non-profit that created and manages The Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail – strongly discourages using the Trail at this time.
The Trail navigates through a provincially-designated Wilderness Protected Area and is not itself technically closed but the parking lot, which is owned by Halifax Regional Municipality, is. This means you cannot drive to the Trail and may be subject to hefty fines if you do, not to mention potentially causing great harm. As such, although it is still legally open for use from locals who arrive on foot, WRWEO strongly recommends that users stay off of the Trail for the time being in order to help limit the spread of COVID-19.
See the provincial information here: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/outdoor-activities/
See the HRM municipal closures here under Municpal Updates click on the “Parks & Recreation”: https://www.halifax.ca/fire-police/fire/emergency-management/corona-virus-disease-covid-19
Another issue that is faced with our Trail is the high prevalence of rescue calls that have occurred on the trails. If a user becomes lost or hurt on the Trail in the coming weeks Search and Rescue will need to respond during the COVID-19 outbreak; while the volunteers want to help the community the level of risk to volunteers responding has increased during these COVID-19 times.
Please call 311 if you see cars illegally parked along the side of the St. Margaret’s Bay Road near the Trail parking lot.
This is a difficult time but we will prevail, together. The Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail will continue to be one of the jewels of Nova Scotia’s trail systems and it will be there when we come out this ordeal, helping connect us with nature and helping us keep healthy of body and mind.

CANCELLED – 2020 WRWEO AGM – March 26, 2020

We are cancelling the AGM for now – we will provide a rescheduled time later.

 

You are invited to our 2020 annual general meeting.  It will be held in the Sky Lounge on the top floor of the Westwood Apartments, 2717 Gladstone Street on March 26, 2020. Registration will begin at 5:30pm, the meeting starts at 6:00pm and will conclude by 7:30pm. 

We will elect this year’s board of directors, present the Chair’s report, review WRWEO’s financial statements and Mike Lancaster will provide highlights of the Bluff Trail Stewardship Program which has now been going for three years. 

2020 WRWEO AGM Agenda

2019-04-01 WRWEO AGM 2019 Minutes

Bluff Trail Stewardship Program, Year In Review Report, 2019

WRWEO Chair’s report AGM 2020

WRWEO Financial Statements 2019

Register for the virtual AGM

Hunting Season – Deer hunting starts October 25, 2019

Deer hunting season starts on Friday October 25, 2019. Remember hunting is permitted in the area around The Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail. Snares are also allowed near the trail – so be sure to wear hunter orange when you are on the trail and keep dogs on leash.

Here is a link to the season and bag limits
Sunday Hunting: Only allowed on the two Sundays immediately following the last Friday in October. Allowed for all species, except moose, for which a season is open at that time.
So hunting will be allowed on Sunday 27 October and 3 November, 2019.

Looking for contractors to undertake brush cutting and trail hardening

Brush Cutting

WRWEO is looking for experienced trail workers to Brush Cut Loop 2 (Mi’kmaw Hill Loop) 1.3 km: 0.3 kms on side “C” and 1 km on side “A”; and all of Loop 3 (The Bluff Loop) 7.6 kms. Here is a link to our Map.

Using a brush cutter and hand trimmer, cut the vegetation on both sides of the trail down to a maximum height of 2’’ and a total width of 3 feet , 1.5 feet on each side of the centre line. 

Pruning of branches and growth should only be done to height of 8 feet tall (any branches taller than this should not be pruned or cut back).

When pruning branches the branch should be cut flush with the trunk of the tree. There should not be any branch stumps sticking out of the tree.

As much as possible do not cut or disturb low growth shrubs such as broom crowberry.

Please email info@wrweo.ca in order to obtain a copy of our proposal submission form, please indicate that you want the brush cutting proposal submission form, references may be required. Those interested will have to provide a fixed price for each piece of work  by midnight on  30th day of October 2019.  The contract may be awarded before the 30th of October, 2019.

Trail Hardening

Using found stone, fill in the Identified Areas needing rock hardening in a manner that provides for solid footing through the Identified Area. These areas tend to be wet areas or low lying areas that can accumulate water during wet seasons. WRWEO is looking for the provision of 360 feet of on trail rock hardening (300 feet to be identified on Pot Lake Loop and 60 feet to be identified on Mi’kmaw Hill Loop).

This will require pry bars to loosen and roll found stone to the Identified Areas as well as picks and shovels to loosen the soil so that the found stone can sit on the trail properly and provide solid footing to trail users. It is important that none of the found stone, once placed on the trail in the Identified Area, moves or shifts when walked upon. The stone tread that is created should be continuous; there should not be any significant gaps of more than a few inches in between the stones such that trail users should not have to stretch their stride or jump while stepping from one stone to another. The stones should also be level with one another such that trail users do not need to step up or down more than a few inches from stone to stone.

Please email info@wrweo.ca in order to obtain a copy of our proposal submission form, please indicate that you want the trail hardening proposal submission form, references may be required. Those interested will have to provide a fixed price for each piece of work  by midnight on  30th day of October 2019.  The contract may be awarded before the 30th of October, 2019.

WRWEO is concerned about ensuring that our impacts on this wilderness are are minimized. We have received negative comments about our maintenance activities in the past and had drafted a response to a concerned citizen and trail user back in 2015. Please check it out and feel free to contact us at info@wrweo.ca if you want further information or to engage with us further on this topic. https://wrweo.ca/wp/about-wrweo/trail-maintenance/

Remediation of damage caused by Hurricane Dorian

Mike Lancaster took a crew of volunteers out on September 14, 2019 and took care of the 1st loop.Here is a picture of them taking care of a downed tree.
Then a group of NS Trail Runners led by one of our stewards, Jason White, did the whole circumference of the Bluff Trail on Sept 21, 2019 taking care of other downed trees.
Here are some photos of their efforts:

May 5 2019 Bluff Trail Steward Training and Orientation Day

May 5, 2019 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM, meet at The Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail parking lot – 2890 St. Margaret’s Bay Road, Timberlea, NS

Sign up via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/288040008792783

Or send an email to info@wrweo.ca

Hello, members of WRWEO and friends of The Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail!

On Sunday, May 5th we will be hosting our monthly Volunteer Work Day and Trail Steward Training Session.

Would you like to learn how to give back to the trail and to reduce your ecological impact whilst using it? If so, you should consider becoming a designated Bluff Trail Steward. The trail needs your help!

We invite you to attend this volunteer work day and training session to become a designated Bluff Trail Steward or to contribute to our trail infrastructure and impact reduction work on the trail.

Volunteer and training days will be on:

Sunday May 5, 2019
Saturday June 1, 2019
Sunday July 14, 2019
Saturday September 14, 2019
Sunday October 20,  2019
November 17, 2019

At the core of the Bluff Trail Stewardship Program are the volunteer ‘Bluff Trail Stewards’; those who have been equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to help advise other trail users in aspects of best-practice trail stewardship and to work on the trail to re-mediate human harms.

To learn more about the Bluff Trail Stewardship Program follow this link: https://wrweo.ca/wp/the-bluff-trail/the-bluff-trail-stewardship-program/

As you may have heard, WRWEO has teamed up with the St. Margaret’s Bay Stewardship Association to create “The Bluff Trail Stewardship Program”! This year we will work even harder to look after the trail, our goal is reducing the harmful human impacts that are currently affecting the trail at an unsustainable rate. This goal will largely be achieved through user engagement and education by our volunteer Trail Stewards.

If you are interested in becoming a Bluff Trail Steward then contact Mike Lancaster, Stewardship Coordinator, by private messaging our Facebook page to book your spot! Or email info@wrweo.ca. Spots are limited so please respond as quickly as you can to ensure you get booked in.

See you on-trail!

SAVE THE DATE! WRWEO’s AGM is coming up on April 1, 2019 from 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm. Location will be Keshen Goodman Library.

We’ve had a lot of interesting research and discoveries in 2018 so the theme is “The Science of Stewardship”

Included in these studies are continued research on the impact of dogs in wilderness areas, micro plastics, erosion control and sediment traps, and of course we have the new kingdom that was discovered in the wilderness area. If any of this research tickles your fancy come out and learn some more.

An image of the life form identified on The Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail.
We’ll also be checking up on the efforts of the Bluff Trail Stewardship Program and all the amazing work that’s been done over the past year!

 

 

New this year we have a photo contest! Send us your favourite pictures, we’ll have them rolling throughout the AGM and at the end the favourite photo by audience applause will win one of our amazing all natural coaster sets!

 

If you’re interested in helping direct the work on the trail, or want to get involved with research on the trail or greater wilderness area please come out to a stewardship day or join our board!
Contact us at info@wrweo.ca.

Burned Screening – Wednesday Nov. 28, 2018

The SMBSA, FBWHT, WRWEO, and Transition Bay St. Margarets are co-hosting what we hope will become a series of climate change evening action workshops.   With the working title “eco-rallies” the first of these events will be Wed., Nov 28th at 7:30PM at St Luke’s United in Upper Tantallon.  A pay-what-you-can screening of the biomass exposé “Burned”, the film and the discussion afterwards will be hosted by the EAC’s Ray Plourde.

Please mark the date in your calendars and PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD!! Attached please find the evening’s poster. Please send it around widely, put it on FB, your website, etc. We seriously want a big crowd. It’s an excellent movie, an important topic, and will be a stimulating evening guaranteed.