Mayne Island Conservancy Society

Programme Archive

Richard Iredale and his Dancers - May Day 2009Richard Iredale's Morris Dancers at May Day, 2009
Photo credit:Tom Hobley

The Things We Got Up To!

This page is dedicated to information about the Conservancy's events in years past and carries information about significant happenings, as well as trivia from the history of the Mayne Island Conservancy Society. Entries appear in ascending date order. This archive is searchable but at this time results are not confined to this page but cover the whole Conservancy site as well as cached instances of our pages.

2015 Beach Clean-up

Thanks to the diligence of the crew at the Recycle Centre, including Michael Dunn, Weighmaster and Vicki Turay as the unassisted* Recording Angel, here are the material statistics for the 2015 Cleanup - 958 kgs or 2108 lbs in total:
Plastics70.68 lbs[155.5 kgs]
Wood + Styrofoam, metal0[0]
Mixed plastics75.0[34.09]
Tire & Styrofoam floats0[0]
Metal, cable23.0[10.45]
Wood223.5[101.59]
Styrofoam229.5[104.32]
Garbage412.5[187.5]
Tires112.0[50.91]
Fabric with metal & foam132.0[60.0]
Plastic & Styrofoam19.0[8.64]
Plastic & metal145.0[65.91]
Crab trap floats123.0[55.91]
Glass3.0[1.36]
Rope132.5[60.23]
Aluminum (returnable cans)44.0[20.0]
Other metal258.0[117.27]
Deposit containers18.5[8.41]
Food2.0[.91]
Cardboard0[0]
Total2,108 lb[958.18 kg]

* Ann Johnston having passed the quill after eight years in that role!

Statistics by Location:

 Bennett BayCampbell BayDavid, Oyster, ReefEdith PointGallagher & PiggottHorton Bay
Beach CaptainMike NadeauElizabeth WhitelawPat SeebachPeter AskinKim HarrisSue Duncan
Team Nos.10364163
Total Haul (Lbs)537.536198128.516123.5

 Kadonaga BayLighthouse/MaudeMiners BayVillage BayBriggs LandingBriggsPebble Beach
Beach CaptainMarian MacLeanLen EppMayne SchoolAl CannonJeannine Dodds?O'Brians
Team No.854 + 20 children4722
Total Haul (Lbs)197.5634042528225.526.5

2014 Beach Clean-up

The Recycling Depot was open from 12:00 - 1:30 pm for Beach Clean-up only. Statistics were carefully recorded, beach by beach by Ann Johnston who has been doing this for so long she has elevated the science behind these numbers into an art form. For the first time Ann had an understudy & deputy in Vicki Turay, who will be able to take the lead in this position in future years. As always, Michael Dunn took on the role of "tallyman" weighing-in and classifying the hauls as they arrived from the various beaches, coves and bays. Grant Buday appeased the recycling gods by putting the co-sponsoring M.I. Recycling Society's seal of approval on the proceedings, as well as working very hard to organize the piles of stuff for easy onward shipment.

Plastics301 lb[137 kg]
Wood + Styrofoam, metal274[124]
Mixed plastics264[120]
Tire & Styrofoam floats143[65]
Metal, cable130[59]
Wood128[58]
Styrofoam120[54]
Garbage111[50]
Tires87[39]
Fabric with metal & foam44[20]
Plastic & Styrofoam28[13]
Plastic & metal17[8]
Crab trap floats17[8]
Glass14[6]
Rope13[6]
Aluminum (returnable cans)12[5]
Total1,703 lb[772 kg]


Photo of Ann Johnston & Vicki Turay Logging the Data

Curiosities and Interesting items: ...And Look What the Kids Did!

On Wednesday 23rd April the Mayne School turned out en masse to clean up Miners Bay and this is what they pulled off the shore (N.B. These figures are already inclded in the totals in the accounting for the full clean up as shown in the table above):

Plastics17lb[8 kg]
Mixed plastics59[27]
Tire & Styrofoam floats18[8]
Metal, cable67[30]
Tires28[13]
Glass14[6]
Aluminum (returnable cans)6[3]
Total209 lb[95 kg]
photo of Michael Dunn & Helper at Miners Bay

Group Photo of School Cleaner uppers

2013 Beach Clean-up

First a story and photo from Ellen Visser

Ellen writes:

The freezer (in the bottom of the trailer under the boat) was stranded on Georgeson Island for a couple of years and floated off last year some time. We needed quite a few of us to haul it from where the big arbutus fell in the water (near the oyster beds) to the beach access. Mike had a dolly which helped. The old boat had been laying at the Brick dock for years slowly disintegrating. The couch was offered for "free" along Fernhill road near Home hardware and rained on twice after which it was dumped at the Brick dock too. Great haul this year for 6 of us only.

Beach Clean-up Day on Mayne is co-sponsored by the Recycling Society and MICS

And This is How the Whole Affair unfolded on April 14, 2013

Mayne Islands’s annual Beach Clean-up is usually scheduled to coincide with Earth Day on April 22nd. Because we require a low tide on a Sunday for this event, it had to be moved forward to the afternoon of April 14th. But the sun did come out to help!

The amount of debris collected was up considerably compared with that found last year. The number of volunteers decreased to only 67 from a high of over 90 last year. On Monday, 6 adults and some 25 kids from the School hit Miners Bay beach, giving us a total of 98 volunteers.




Congratulations to all—especially the 10 Beach Captains!

Their teams cleaned up 16 or more of our beaches, removing 2634 pounds [1195 kilograms] of debris, compared with 1461 pounds [663 kg] last year—an 80% increase over the 2012 haul. Each year this fluctuation raises interesting questions. Six beaches had considerably lower hauls than last year. But some had much higher—usually based on specific items reported below. We were on the alert for any debris that might have come from Japan—but found none. Although all materials were weighed, the category numbers must be considered estimates as much material was co-mingled. Kilograms are shown below in [brackets]. See below to compare with last year's figures!

CommodityLbsKgs
Plastic—mixed456 lb207
Styrofoam456 lb27
Plastic/Styrofoam 4018
Rope & Carpeting 30½14
Plastic/Wood19 9
Fibreglass, & w. wood293133
Metals—ferrous422191
Metals w. plastic, wood & concrete4420
Metals w. rope2210
Aluminum3215
Tire floats258117
Tire w. chain250113
Wood, & w. plastic326½148
Rubber102½46
Complete couch—left on roadside9443
Miscel. w. glass & beverage containers11½5
Asbestos board & running shoes8.54
Garbage163½74

The “champion” junk beach this year was again Bennett Bay where 911 pounds were collected by only seven volunteers. Give them a cheer!

Beach Location2013 Lbs2013 Kgs2012 Lbs2012 KgsCaptain
Bennett Bay911413369½168Mike Nadeau
Piggott/Gallagher Bays551½25020794Kim Harris
David Cove/Oyster/Reef Bays451½2059644Leanna Boyer
Edith Point286130104.544Peter Askin
Kadanaga Bay202½92266121Marian McLean
Campbell Bay1084994121Lael Whitehead
Lighthouse Pt/Maude Bay53½248036Len Epp
Village Bay30147541Helen O`Brian
Miners Bay28½137534Jessica Willows, School
Horton Bay/Potato Point20937½17Susan Duncan

Most of our beaches are becoming cleaner each year. This is great news! Bennett Bay’s enormous score included a complete freezer with compressor (260.5 lb), many parts of a boat made of wood and fiberglass (189 lb) and a complete couch left out on the road-side (94 lb). The latter is totally illegal and is subject to a $2000 littering fine. At Piggott/Gallagher Bays, a hot tub cover (115 lb), a fiberglass boat (110 lb) and a dock float (60 lb) were found. At Oyster Bay there was an almost intact plastic canoe (36 lb) and a mooring tire with a long length of heavy metal cable attached (250 lb). Our special thanks to Rick Staehling for redesigning our posters and to Grant Buday for volunteering to open and man the Recycling Depot on a Sunday. Our thanks also go to the Capital Regional District for financial help with the expenses for our annual Clean-up.

This annual event was sponsored by the Mayne Island Recycling Society and the Mayne Island Conservancy Society. We have been fortunate to have had Michael Dunn to do the weigh-in for these events that go back to 1992. Sue Miyazaki again was a great help in managing traffic and the sorting of debris as it came in. We want to thank all the volunteers who helped on April 14th and the school gang who cleaned up Miners bay beach on April 15th. And, most especially, Mayne Islanders thank all of you who ‘clean-up’ each time you use our beautiful beaches.

Earth Day Beach Clean-up – April 22, 2012

Debris was down this year but the number of volunteers increased with 113 turning out at low tide on a sunny Sunday afternoon and 4 adults and 32 kids hitting the Miners Bay beach on Monday for at total of 149 volunteers.

Congratulation to all—especially the 11 Beach Captains!

They cleaned up 16 or more of our beaches, removing 1460.5 pounds [662.5 kg] of debris, compared with 2,915 pounds last year—about 50% of the 2011 haul. This raises an interesting question: Are beach users and boaters being more careful? Did the big storm that we had in March clean our beaches, taking debris back out to sea? Or…?

Although all materials were weighed, the category numbers must be considered estimates as much material was co-mingled.

Materiallbskgs
Plastic-inc. PVC, vinyl, etc.97.544.2
Mixed-inc. bags, netting, cases303137.4
Styrofoam & fiberglass18182.1
Astroturf & foam rubber167.3
Metals—ferrous, & w. fabric281.5127.7
aluminum, & w. plastic167.3
copper & lead41.8
Wood-dimension lumber, plywood5524.9
w. fibre, w. fiberglass, w. metal6328.6
Glass146.4
Rope—plastic14666.2
4 Tires, 2 w. Styrofoam10949.4
Gyproc125.4
Rubber83.6
Ceramics83.6
Bricks73.2
Other, incl Beverage Containers31.4
Miscellaneous ‘garbage’13561.2

The “champion” junk beach this year was Bennett Bay where 369.5 pounds were collected.
Location2012 lbs2012 kgs2011 lbsCaptain
Bennett Bay369.5168135Eden Evans
Kadonaga Bay266121220Marian McLean
Piggott /Gallagher Bays20794139Jim Marsh
Edith Point*104.547?Peter Askin
David Cove/Oyster/Reef Bays964493Martin Broad
Campbell Bay*9443?Al Maxwell
Village Bay904172Helen O`Brian
Lighthouse Pt/Maude Bay803649Len Epp
Miners Bay7534113Michael Dunn, School
Horton Bay37.517290Susan Duncan
Brigs Bay371748Jeanine Dodds

* Edith Point and Campbell Bay were combined last year for a total haul of 166 kg, compared with a combined 90 kg in 2012.

Some of the interesting changes this year include: many fewer plastic crab trap buoys and tire buoys (49.4 kg in 2012 compared with 146.1 kg in 2011) and only 1 boat hulk. We also retrieved two single tennis shoes and a clog (no feet!) and a child’s swimming suit; a basket ball and a tennis ball; and a toy truck—intact but with a cracked windscreen. Our special thanks to Bette Hawes for redesigning our posters and to Grant Buday and Ron Willick for volunteering to open and man the Recycling Depot on a Sunday. Michael Dunn conducted the ‘weigh-in’, as he has done since we started these events in 1992. Sue Miyazaki was a great help as a second recorder.

Thanks to the Capital Regional District for financial help with the expenses for this year’s Clean-up. This annual event was sponsored by the Mayne Island Conservancy Society and the Mayne Island Recycling Society with support from the Association of Mayne Island Boaters, the School and all the volunteers who helped on April 22nd and April 23rd. Most especially—thanks from all of us to all of you who ‘clean-up’ each time you use our beautiful beaches.

Earth Week Beach Clean-up - April 17, 2011

Wow!! We did it again! More debris, more crab floats and more 'interesting treasures'!

135 volunteers turned out: 40 school kids with 9 staff and parents on Thursday to clean up Miners Bay, and 86 other community members 'crewed' 15 or more of our other beaches on Sunday.

Congratulations to all-especially the 10 Beach Captains! And the sun shone! Our total haul was 2,915 pounds or 1322 kilograms. Although materials were all weighed, the category numbers must be considered estimates as much material was co-mingled. The comparative total figures from 2010 were 2,594 lb or1177 kg.

This debris was collected from the same beaches that we cleaned last year with the added haul from Brigs Bay. What a lot wahes up in 12 months!

MATERIAL 2011 Lbs/Kgs2010 Lbs/KgsMATERIAL2011 Lbs/Kgs2010 Lbs/Kgs
Plastics (& some nylon)709 / 321.8 737.5 / 335.2Chain-ferrous82 / 37.225 / 11.4
Metal-ferrous527.5 / 239.3422 / 191.8Outboard Motor71 / 32.2 
Tires (some buoys with Styrofoam)322 / 146.1483 / 291.6Lead Acid Battery45 /20.4 
Styrofoam/fiberglass226 / 102.5263.5 / 119.8Metal-Aluminum, Copper18.5 / 8.4 
Rope175/79.4127 / 57.7Fabrics 12 / 5.435 / 15.9
Wood158/71.7107 / 48.6Glass 11.5 / 5.228.5 / 13.0
Styrofoam/plastic mixed143 / 64.953 / 24.1Fibre7 / 3.2 
Wood/metal/fibre/tires87 / 39.536 / 16.4Boot & Running Shoes4.5 / 2.03 / 1.4
Firehose 22 / 10Miscellaneous Garbage316.5 / 143.696.5 / 43.9

The junk "champion" beach award goes to Horton Bay whose cleaners dragged in 155.5 pounds of metal, among much else. They dredged themselves up from fifth place last year!

LOCATION 2011 Lbs/Kgs2010 Lbs/KgsCAPTAIN
Horton Bay639.5 / 290.3237 / 108Barbara McIntyre
Kadonaga Bay485 / 220.0339.5/154.0Marian McLean
Edith Point/Campbell Bay366 / 166.1528 / 240Peter Askin & Al Maxwell
Piggott Bay/Gallagher Bay 303.5 / 138.8478.5 / 201.8Kim Harris
Bennett Bay298 / 135.2329.5 / 149Eden Evans
Miners Bay249 / 112.9150 / 68Jess Willows
David Cove/Reef Bay/Oyster Bay203.5 / 92.5246.5/112.05Larry Barker
Village Bay158.5 / 72.138 / 17Bette Hawes
Maude Bay/Lighthouse Pt 106.5 / 48.5147 / 67Sue Miyazaki
Brigs Bay106 / 48.1 Jeanine Dodds
TOTALS 2,915.5 / 1,3222,594 / 1177 

The most interesting 'treasures' that we caught this year were:

Our greatest concerns relate to the ever increasing numbers of crab trap floats; there were dozens and they came from most Bays. But, fortunately, the number of tire/styrofoam buoys was down.

Sue & Bette ready to clean up - Photo: Terrill Welch
Sue & Bette about to scour Village Bay
- Terrill Welch

Our special thanks to

  • Grant Buday for volunteering to open and man the Recycling Depot.
  • Michael Dunn who conducted the 'weigh-in', as he has done since we started these events in 1992.
  • Ann Johnston our intrepid recorder who coralled all the facts and figures shown above
  • The Capital Regional District for financial help with the expenses for this year's Clean-up.
This annual event was sponsored by the Mayne Island Conservancy Society and Mayne Island Recycling Society with support from the Association of Mayne Island Boaters, the School and all the volunteers who helped on April 17th.

....and, as always, thanks from all of us to those who 'clean-up' each time they use our beautiful beaches!

Bette Hawes and Sue Everts, gloved and booted, stand ready to do a number on Village Bay in Terrill Welch's photo at the right; for more pictures of "Earth Week" Events, including Beach Clean-up, please visit our Gallery pages

A story about the 2010 Beach Clean Up is archived here

More Pictures from 2011

Following the retreating tide in Horton Bay!
Following tide's edge in Horton Bay
Non-starter in Horton Bay!
Non-starter in Horton Bay!
Toby Towed the Boat Ashore
Toby Towed the Boat Ashore
This Could be the Start of Something Big
This could be the start of something big
A Boat Load  of Old Pipes
A Boat Load of Old Pipes
Rotating stock to store the pipes
Rotating stock to store the pipes
Bill & Alan get a grip on the situation
Bill & Alan getting a grip on the situation
Some new stuff awaiting weigh-in
Some new stuff awaiting weigh-in
No pipe rack at the Recycle Centre
No pipe rack at the Recycle Centre

You can find many more photographs from Earth Day 2010 clean up Gallery pages. If any one, (cleaner-up or passer-by) has more pictures (candid or posed) of the 2011 event do send them to the Webmaster so that they can be displayed on this page or in a section of our Gallery. Appropriate credit will be given!

Beach Cleanup 2010

The Campbell Crew with loot; -  at the Earth Week Beach Clean-up - April 2010 During Earth Week MICS & MIRS, with the assistance of AMIB, co-sponsored Beach Clean-up; and Kids got a chance to help on their own day - thanks to Jess Willows and the School!

Meantime thanks to all beach captains and a super band of volunteers!

Congratulations to all! We had about 140 volunteers turn out for this Clean-up which included all 35 kids plus 8 staff from the School. They cleaned Miners Bay beach on Earth Day, April 22nd.

We had 97 volunteers out on Sunday this year compared to 63 last year. Congratulation to all-especially the Beach Captains! And thank goodness the weather cooperated!

Our total haul was 2,594 pounds or 1177 kg. Although materials were all weighed, the numbers must be considered close estimates. This debris was collected from the same 14 beaches that we cleaned last year.

The junk "championship" goes to Edith Point/Campbell Bay team who brought their junk in three truck loads, some of which were co-mingled. We were able to assign numbers to each of the other beaches even though they may have had a combined team working on more than one beach.


LOCATION 2010 Lbs/Kg 2009 LbsCAPTAIN
Kadonaga Bay339½   / 154524Marian McLean
Edith Point/Campbell Bay528 / 240288Peter Askin & Al Maxwell
Piggott Bay 339½   / 154 (a tie)302Kim Harris
Gallagher Bay 139 / 63Kim Harris
Bennett Bay329½   / 149371Eden Evans
Horton Bay237 / 108304Barbara McIntyre
Miners Bay150 / 68127Jess Willows
David Cove 203 / 92225Larry Barker
Maude Bay/Lighthouse Pt 147 / 67Sue Miyazaki
Reef Bay/Oyster Bay 143½Larry Barker
Village Bay 38 / 17144Bette Hawes
TOTALS 2,594 / 1,1772,285 

MATERIAL 2010 Lbs 2009 Lbs MATERIAL 2010 Lbs 2009 Lbs
Plastics--of course!737½ 586Carpets47½25
Tires [some rims and/or as buoys]483255Misc. Garbage46½734
Metal422412Wood/foam/vinyl36
Styrofoam/fiberglass263½118Fabrics35
Mixed foam & plastic180Fire hose 22
Wood10785Glass, porcelain. tiles 28½43
Rope, fish netting127194Rubber boots3
Surf board pieces53Corrugated cardboard

The most interesting 'treasures' that we caught this year were:

  • 1 medicine ball
  • 1 surf board-in three pieces
  • 3 car bumpers-from different 'cars'
  • 1 more or less intact 5 ft bench seat
  • a length of fire hose
  • 7 crab trap buoys
  • 5 boat buoys-tires with styrofoam
  • 3 jerry cans

Our thanks to Grant Buday for volunteering to open and man the Recycling Depot. And, most especially, to Bette Hawes for organizing the event this year. Thank you too to Michael Dunn, in charge of the weigh-in and particularly to our unflappable tally person Ann Johnston, whose report this is!

May Day 2014

Mad May Day got underway shortly after the close of the first Farmers Market of the year with the now traditional trumpet blast, which was followed by the Mayne Dancers with musical accompaniment from Lael & friends. After a circle gathering of Fairies, Elves and Knights honoured "Mother Earth," the Earth Sea Spirit puppet & her new Consort floated onto the grounds, creating a truly magical moment. Afterwards the new Mayne Island Singers charmed the crowd while the re-energised raffle ticket sellers were hard at work raising funds for Conservation Action and Shoreline Care - many, many thanks to everyone who donated prizes!

After the Master of Mirth conducted a Swearing-in Ceremony for the pole bearers, always a highlight of the day, the procession struck out for Miners Bay led by the May Queen and the Green Man. The drummers kept things moving at a good pace Photo of some of the musicianswith their lively rhythms as they snaked into the park around the front of the library. The mown grass labyrinth was the site of the "Coronation" for the May Queen conducted in the presence of her entourage of loyal fairies, elves, & knights. She gave a lovely speech to the court and hangers-on (that's everybody else!) while facing each of the four compass points, whereupon the Green man thanked the Conservancy for hosting the event and keeping everyone mindful of their connections to the earth.

The pole was erected and the dancing began. First up were the Queen and her subjects followed by the Mayne Maidens who performed the ribbon dance around the pole. Dancing is thirsty work so refreshments were served. The MI Lions Club kindly donated their time to serve the lemonade, and there were cakes! While this unseemly gorging continued many young persons adjourned for energetic sports and games only to return later in a curious demonstration of sugar/gluten circularity. The smiles that developed during the day on the faces of those in attendance went home with them and, we hope, they will last until we do it all again next year!

Photo of one of the many drummers
RaffleFace PaintersMusicDrummersPuppets
MaryVickyLaelRiverTania
LibbieOliviaMichelleDave 
DebMarinDaleLouis 
MikeAnnette Rena 
     
May PersonsCakesLabyrinthGamesMMC*
KatErikaDougStephanieJohn
DrewVicky   
 Unity   
 Maggi   

* Master of Mirthful Ceremonies (Ag Hall Grounds Edition)
Above all thanks and congratulations are due Maggi Cheetham, Helen O'Brian, Lael Whitehead and their numerous helpers who plotted, sweated, cast spells and uttered obscure incantations to make this celebration the success it was. "Best yet" was a comment heard more than once. Well done all!!

For an almost blow by blow story of the event you cannot do better than visit Tom Hobley's Photoshare page - over 70 pictures and a caption for each one!

And This is the way it happened in 2013 ....

EVENTS AT THE FARMERS’ MARKET

At about (all times approximate ‘cos time was suspended!)
1:00pmTrumpet player, Morris Dancers, Choir: “Now is the Month of Maying”
1.20pmKid’s pledge to Earth Sea Spirit & May Pole Bearers’ swearing-in. Song: Padstow May Song
1:40pmNoisy Procession taking May Pole to Miners Bay Park accompanied by Green Man, May Queens, knights, fairies, drummers, and the rest

EVENTS AT MINERS BAY PARK

Labyrinth
1:55pmPole delivered to park
2:00pmCoronation of 2013 May Queen by last year’s Queen. Speeches by Green Man and new May Queen.
May Pole
2:25pmMay Pole erected accompanied by a song: Hal-an-toe.
2:30pmKids’ dance around the pole with May Queen & Green Man.
2:40pmDance of our lovely Mayne Maidens around the pole.
2:45pmRaffle Draw # 1
2:50pmCommunity Spiral Dance everyone welcome.
Games Area, Labyrinth & Gazebo
3:00pmKids’ refreshment & Raffle Draw # 2
3:10pmAdults’ refreshments kids’ games and Races.
3:25pm Morris Dancers with more dances….maybe!



A grand selection of photographs were taken by Tom Hobley who seemed to be everywhere at once throughout the day.

Tom has made many of them available on his PhotoShare site at http://photoshare.shaw.ca/messages/viewthumb/3268126528-1370113740-95522/0/page/1/15/ in a beautifully captioned slide show. Go and play it or select the ones you want to see by browsing the "thumbnails"

Many thanks to Tom for documenting our fun and games once again!

Community May Day Celebration 2012 - Saturday May 19th


Here's What We Did

Now Some 2012 Photos "from the Market to the Park"

Thanks to Tom Hobley for all these pictures!
Photo of the gathering at the end of Farmers Market
The Market over & the Crowd Waits
Photo of the Pole Bearers listening to a reading of the Oath
Pole Bearers about to Take the Oath
Photo of the beginning of the May Day Parade
Parade Emerges from the Ag Hall
Photo of the Pole Bearers & their Pole
The May Pole Held High
Photo of the Pole Dancing
Ribbon Dancing Round the Pole
Photo Michelle Footz signalling the start of May Day
Michelle Footz starts the fun
Photo of the Noisy Paraders
Whistle, Toot and Shout
Photo of the Quicks Bottom Morris Men
The Morris Men March
Photo of the May Pole being placed
Setting up the May Pole
Photo of the Adult Sack Race
Senior Set Sack Racing
Photo 2 Past May Queens do the Three Legged Race
3 Legged Racing as well
If you don't see yourself in these pictures you can see more on Tom Hobley's picture sharing site

...And in the unlikely event you don't find yourself there try Terrill Welch's site at:
http://terrillwelch.smugmug.com/MayneIsland/May-Day-Celebrations-2012/23069185_rHpWHT#!i=1856449158&k=zLGj9b5

May Day Report - May 21st 2011

2011 May Day Poster

2011 May Day Celebrations as They Happened

Because of the May Day date we were not able to make the Mayneliner June deadline, as a result, and having regard to the "signature" nature of the event in the Conservancy's year, we are reproducing Maggi Cheetham's May Day Report in full

"The Mayne Island Conservancy's May Day Festival was held on Saturday May 21st. In spite of the inclement weather people were decked out in their very best and we had great fun. There were more little fairies than ever plus we had one tiger - a first in our event. What a show of finery and fantasy.

At the Farmer's Market, our tireless face painter this year was Shaye Steele. With some help and encouragement from her friends, Shea did a brilliant job of making us look even more festive. Thank you Shaye and friends.

Anticipating warm weather and flower wilt, we had a make-your-own colourful garlands table with fresh flowers available. We were wrong about the weather but the idea was good. Our raffle ticket sellers, as usual, did a wonderful job and the prizes were great. Thank you to the sellers, Lynda Smyth, Dorothy Mills & MICS board members Without donors, raffles don't happen so thanks soooo much to:

    .
  • Dove Lang who donated a gift voucher for a massage
  • Leanna Boyer & Mark Lauckner who donated a native plant and some heirloom tomato plants
  • Mike Nadeau who donated a beautifully designed owl or osprey house
  • Helen O'Brian who donated 5 bags of compost/manure
  • Michael Dunn who donated a special landowner "walkabout" to reveal hidden biological treasures.
The BIG event commenced as the market closed. Mayne Island Musician Extraordinaire, Michelle Footz, dressed in all the colours of the rainbow and more, raced into the centre of the market and blew her trumpet -Wow what an island gem. As soon as she had finished, in flew the Quicksbottom Morris Dancers from Vancouver Island, (namely: JD, James, Faye, John, Richard, and Joel) along with their musicians (Alan, Paul, Terry, & Veronica). We love their wild and crazy dances. Singers came next. Gail Noonan's enthusiastic Midday Chorus sang an African song in many parts. It sounded wonderful and was followed by our traditional Padstow May(ne) Song. A Big Thanks to everyone

As usual, before we could leave the grounds, our Master of Ceremonies, John O'Brian prevailed upon the May Pole bearers to solemnly swear to carry the pole and to serve the May Queen. Our pole bearers' hats were magnificent this year; all manner of shapes and colours with feathers galore. Thank you all for making this so much fun..

Steve Cropper with his tall green hat lead the procession carrying the pole and escorting the soon to be 2011 May Queen, the beautiful Erin Abbott-Haines & her handsome husband Andrew, the 2011 Green Man, to Miners Bay Park for the coronation. Our procession was as noisy as we could make it with drummers and musicians and people with noisemakers & bells accompanying us. It was a wonderfully mad & colourful procession bringing brightness to a cool, grey & rainy day. Thanks to everyone who created this procession and all who joined in to help.

When we got into the park, the Queen accompanied by her little and not so little green gossamer clad fairies walked the grass labyrinth which had been specially mowed by Doug McNeill. If any fairy sees a photograph of her/himself on our website and wants a copy; email Maggi (mcheetham@shaw.ca)

After the coronation, the pole was planted accompanied with a traditional May song. Then the dances around the pole began. These were fun. First the children danced around the May Pole led by Amber Harvey. What a delight watching the little ones, some shy and others gregarious. The Mayne Maidens, of all ages and as graceful as ever, followed with the May Pole Ribbon Dance and then we had a community circle dance. Everyone danced. So much fun - thanks to the leaders and participants alike. Next up were the kids' games organized by Jessica Reveley - they were GREAT; thanks Jessica

Learning from last year, we made sure that there was enough cake & lemonade for everyone. Thanks to Brenda Webster & Deb Foote for their donations. And Maggi's little friend, Olivia, for her delicious recipe. Thanks very much to Bob Kerr for seeing that everyone got a slice. A special Thanks to Alan Guy and Doug McNeill for keeping the park looking great and for the beautiful labyrinth..

Some photos of the event taken by Tom Hobley appear below photos and many more are on our Gallery pages. If you would like an emailed copy of any one let Maggi know.

Planning this event so much fun from cake baking to garland making. We couldn't create this event without volunteers so again, thank you!!"

If anyone reading this feels the urge to get involved in the planning for May Day 2012 do get in touch with Maggi or call Mairi - just so's you know the "who does what" preparation starts ealy in the new year!

May Day 2011 Pictures from the Procession to the Park

Thanks to Tom Hobley for all these pictures!
Photo of the Pole leaving the Ag Hall
The May Pole is Up & Off to the Park
Photo of the Rythm Section
The Procession's Rythm Section
Photo of the May Queen & her Attendants
Queen, Consort Green with Fairies
Photo of the Noisy Procession
The Whole Motley Moves to the Park
Photo of the Pole Raising
Soon! A Pole-in-the-Hole!
Photo of Trumpet Player
Noisy Start to the Procession
Photo of the May Queen with Baby Fairy
A Minor B.C. Fairy Route
Photo of the May Queen & the Green Man
The Queen of Green
Photo of a May Pole Dance
Ribbons & Dancers Amok!
Photo of the May Pole arriving at Miners Bay Park
Having a Blue Hair Day
Photo of the Newly Crowned May Queen
Tiara Broom Away

May Day Report - May 22nd 2010

Under mostly sunny skies, a large crowd of residents and visitors were witness to a May Day that happened pretty much as scheduled. The day's fun started immediately after, or indeed slightly before, the end of the first Farmers Market of 2010. All kinds of rural jollification ended in a gently bawdy swearing-in of the polebearers, whereupon the May Pole, the Queen, her Attendants, the Green Man and sundry minstrels, vagabonds and string-players made their way, with the Market crowd in tow, to Miners Bay Park. There, the Labyrinth walked, the pole erected, the Queen coronated, and the Mayne Maidens having Ribbon Danced, more merriment broke out, involving kids sports, spiral dances and refreshments. Proceedings finally wound down sometime after the anticipated wrap of 3:15



In order of appearance we wish to thank the following for their huge contributions to an enjoyable afternoon:

2010 May Queen Crowned



And not forgetting MICS' band of organisers Mairi Munro-Kerr, Lael Whitehead, and Helen O'Brian, led and inspired by Maggi Cheetham. In turn, they want to thank the following people who did so much to help:

Most of all the Mayne Island Conservancy wishes thanks to all those who contributed $ to our fundraising effort and those who simply turned out to have fun, and did!

Pictures from the Farmers Market - 2010t


May Day Table
May Day Table Sells Broom Garlands
Lael Whitehead and her Vagabonds & String Players entertain
The Banquo Folk Ensemble
The Mayne Island Country Dancers
The M.I.C.D. Get Ready to Twirl & Swirl
The Quicks Bottom Morris Men
Quicks Bottoms & Banquos Perform
Pole bearers Sworn in
Polebearers Promise to Set it Up and ...

You can find many more photographs of the May Day Celebration 2010 on parade and in the park by visiting our Gallery page

Toby Snelgrove has posted lots of pictures of the full event on his website

Maggi Cheetham writes:

"We have been having so much fun planning this event from cake baking to garland making. Our volunteers this year were outstanding. Thank you everyone . . . . . .
If you would like to get involved in next year’s May Day email Maggi Cheetham or call and leave a message at 5919. See you next year!"

May Day 2009




This was the 2009 poster that helped to draw a big crowd to the Farmers Market for all kinds of merry-making. From there the marching/dancing crowd, dressed in all manner of costumes, and some wildly decorated, surged to Miners Bay with the May Pole bearing up and Banners flying. For some of Tom Hobley's pictures of the event see below!









Pictures from the Market to the Park - 2009

May Day
The Celebrating Crowd
May Day
The Choir's Month of Maying
May Day
One or Two Do Sing-along
May Day
Great Cheeky Brush Work
May Day
Many Styles of Face Paint
May Day
The Morris Men Sing & Dance
May Day
The MM's Knock Wood on Wood
May Day
Temporary Tattoos on Offer
May Day
There's a Morris Donkey Too!
May Day
The Mayne Island Mountie Leads
May Day
High Stepping to Miners Bay Park
May Day
Royal Progress to Fun in the Park
May Day
Coming into the Home Stretch
May Day
Will There be Sheltie Fun Also?
May Day
The Festive Drummimg Circle
May Day
May Pole on the Move
May Day
Bearers & Pole Well Dressed
May Day
Carefully Placing the Pole
May Day
Running the Labyrinth
May Day
Traffic Jam in the Labyrinth
May Day
Winding up the Streamers Begins
May Day
Inside Winders Gotta Duck

Conservation Talks 2013-14 Season

Saving Seeds for the Future - Friday March 21, 2014 2:00 pm, Ag Hall

Picture of The Millennium Seed Bank Visitor Centre

This talk will outline the aims and activities of the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership, with detail on some of the keystone projects and research work. The presenter, Vanessa Sutcliffe, will also discuss the simple science behind drying and storing seeds, to encourage Mayne Island gardeners to save their own seeds.

Vanessa is a training specialist for the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership, a project of the Seed Conservation Department of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in the UK. The MSBP is conserving plant species from around the world through the storage of their seeds. Vanessa is responsible for organising and delivering training in seed conservation across the MSBP's global network.

While Vanessa is on holiday, visiting family on Mayne Island, she has agreed on very short notice to give this talk which is jointly sponsored with the Mayne Island Garden Club and the Agricultural Society.

The Spiders of British Columbia with Robb Bennett - November 16th, 2013 2:00 pm, Ag Hall

Picture of Spider on a Leaf

Join Robb Bennett from the BC Museum in the Ag Hall on Saturday Nov 16th at 2:00 for an illustrated seminar on spiders. Robb will discuss the general biology and natural history of spiders and will introduce you to a range of interesting British Columbia spiders. Attendees will also learn about the Royal BC Museum’s current research documenting the province’s spider fauna diversity.

"...spiders are ruthless storm troops in the matriarchal anarchy that is the arthropod world: theirs is the most diverse, female-dominated, entirely predatory order on the face of the earth. As such, spiders are key components of all ecosystems in which they live." - Robb began studying spiders when he was an undergraduate studying entomology at the University of Guelph in Ontario in the mid-1970's. Subsequently he earned a M. Sc. and a PhD in spider taxonomy/systematics. Since then, his interest in spiders has never waned and, today, Robb continues to collect and study spiders. His collections have been placed in relevant museums, primarily in Canada (the Canadian National Collection) and the USA (primarily the American Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Comparative Zoology, the Smithsonian Institution, and the California Academy of Sciences). He has collected in the USA and much of Canada, including the maritime provinces, the Yukon and Northwest Territories, the prairies, and Ontario.

Picture of a Gull over Water

Birds on the Move presented by Bruce Whittington - Sunday December 1st, 2013 7:30, Ag Hall

"One of the reasons we’re so aware of birds is the fact that they are so mobile, but many of these birds move on other levels we often overlook.”
Bruce is a freelance naturalist, writer and photographer. He has written extensively on birds in British Columbia with articles in BC Living and producing a weekly column "Island Birds" in Victoria's Times Colonist. With illustrator Loucas Raptis he has authored "Seasons with Birds" in which he takes the reader through a year with birds. Each month offers descriptive information about several birds, along with interesting tidbits of bird lore, including the incredible story of long-range migrations, how birds fly, their plumage changes, and the life stories of early ornithologists.

He has worked as an onboard naturalist on over 60 Alaska cruises, and has led numerous land-based birding tours. He is a founder and former Executive Director of Habitat Acquisition Trust in Victoria, a former Islands Trust Fund board member, and remains an ardent conservationist. He is presently in career number 29, working with his wife Wanda Dombrowski in her framing shop and gallery in Ladysmith.


Details of last season's conservation themed talks can be found in our Program Archive

Conservation Talks 2012-13 Season

Earth Day Poster

Celebrate Earth Day with Julie Johnston & Dr Peter Carter


Whacky Weather, Food Fragility and Compassionate Climate

Join Pender Island teacher Julie Johnston on Monday April 22nd, 7:00 pm at the Ag Hall() as she presents Mr Gore's 50 minute slide show to us on Earth Day, with discussion to follow. In this slideshow Al Gore provides evidence that the pace of climate change may be even worse than scientists recently predicted. He challenges us to act.

Julie trained with Al Gore and the Climate Reality Leadertship Corps last summer. She will be joined by her husband, Dr Peter Carter, a retired physician who has studied and synthesized climate change research for over 20 years






Thursday November 8th - Caring for the Western Purple Martins presented by Herbie & Bernard Rochet - 7:30 at the Community Centre

Western Purple Martins almost disappeared from the south coast of British Columbia Martin Posterdue to losses to their preferred breeding habitat (cavities in trees) as well as competition from introduced bird species such as starlings and house sparrows. The Western Purple Martin Stewardship program was launched to try to restore and increase the breeding populations of these magnificent birds. On Mayne Island Herbie and Bernard Rochet took up the challenge in 2005 establishing artificial nest boxes in Miners Bay and Bennett Bay. As a result of their hard work, creativity and years of dedication the martins have been breeding successfully at both sites.

Come and hear about the pleasures, triumphs and sometimes the diappointments in their seven year long struggle to provide a bridgehead for this unique regional species.

Listen to the story but also think how you might help the Conservancy assume this important work, as it may be many more seasons before the population can become self-sustaining. Above all come and thank the Rochets for their remarkable work of passion and dedication in saving these birds for future generations to enjoy.


Mushroom Poster

Saturday November 3rd - Mushrooms of British Columbia with Simon Chornick - 2:00 to 4:00 at the Ag Hall

Subtitled "From the Field to the Forest" this combined talk and workshop will review the most common West Coast fungi and some of those that are not so common. Get answers to the question "Edible or not?" and if you have examples do bring them along for identification.

Simon Chornick works for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans but in his other life Simon is a vocalist and mandolin player with the Mission based group Random Dander, but more importantly from our point of view he is an accomplished photographer, particularly in the field of mushrooms & other fungi. His mycologia appear in many internet-based reference works and he hunts, paints, grows and eats mushrooms.

Happily sharing his expertise, Simon styles himself as the Fungi Ambassador

Saturday October 13 2012 - Blue Carbon, Climate and the Oceans: The Role of Nature in Regulating Climate - 7:30 pm at the Community Centre

Presented by Colin Campbell, Marine Campaign Coordinator for the Sierra Club of B.C.

Carbon stored in the natural sinks of coastal oceans is secure for millennia, and the conservation and restoration of the associated ecosystems could account for up to 10% of the emissions challenge

Dr Colin Campbell was born and raised in Melbourne, Australia where he trained in Zoology and Palaeontology, spending the late 60's and early 70's at the University of California Berkeley, acquiring his PhD. While there his environmental concerns were focussed by an academic fascination with extinction processes.

He spent the 90's at the Australian National University working with an international climate change and sea level research program in Australia, Papua New Guinea and China and worked on the identification of environmental change following the arrival of humans in Australia and the central Pacific.

He studied environmental law for two years at the Australian National University before returning to Canada in 1998, living on the Sunshine Coast, becoming the Forest Caucus Coordinator for the BC Environmental Network from 2000-2003.

In 2004 Colin was elected Chair of the Executive Committee of the Sierra Club of BC and later became, and still is, the Marine Campaign Coordinator at Sierra Club of BC. He is also Science Advisor to the Sierra Club of BC. Presently, his time is occupied with climate change outreach on behalf of the Sierra Club and climate change issues in the context of Marine Use Planning.

Anyone who missed the talk or wishes to revisit some of the challenging facts served up during this absorbing evening the slideshow and notes are now available on line here. We thank Colin Campbell & the Sierra Club of BC for granting permission and providing supplementary suggestions for text and

Conservation Talks 2011-12 Season

Saturday April 21 2012 - Earthquakes in Southwest British Columbia: Living on the Edge - 7:30 pm, Ag Hall

Earthquakes Poster NOTE John Cassidy was unable to be with us for this talk. Fortunately his place was taken by Dr. Garry Rogers, Senior Scientist with the earthquakes section at Natural Resources Canada.

Those of us in Southwest British Columbia are "living on the edge" of the North American tectonic plate. Here, small earthquakes occur every day, damaging earthquakes occur decades apart, and some of the world's largest earthquakes (like those in Japan, Chile, and Sumatra) occur centuries apart. In this presentation the earthquake history, hazards, earthquake research being conducted in this region, and ways to prepare for an earthquake will be presented.

Dr. John Cassidy is a Research Scientist with the Geological Survey of Canada (Sidney, BC) and Head of the Earthquake Seismology Section. He is also an adjunct Professor at the University of Victoria, School of Earth and Ocean Sciences where he teaches courses and supervises graduate students.He completed his B.Sc. in Honours Physics at the University of Victoria in 1982, his M.Sc. in Geophysics in 1987, and his PhD in Geophysics in 1991 at the University of British Columbia. John specialises in earthquake hazard studies in Canada, and during the past 20 years he has published more than 130 scientific and public information articles. John works closely with the engineering community and emergency management organisations that utilise the results of earthquake research, and he is extremely active in public outreach activities. John served as a member of the Canadian Association of Earthquake Engineers Reconnaissance Team that travelled through the regions of Chile that were hardest-hit by the magnitude 8.8 earthquake of 2010.

Saturday March 3 2012 - Anny Scoones: Musings on Nature, Green Space, Agriculture and Art - 7:30 at the Ag Hall

Scoones Poster On historic Glamorgan Farm in rural North Saanich, Anny and her partner raised heritage breeds of livestock such as the Naked Neck hen, the woolly Russian Curly horse, and the Gloucester Old Spot Pig. They also grew heirloom produce, flowers and fruit, practiced nature scaping, and held community events among many other projects.

The farm was established in 1870 by Richard John, a Welshman who built the huge log barns, grew oats and raised cattle on what was then over six hundred acres. Today the farm consists of eight and a half acres.

The original elegant family house with its wraparound verandah stood where the Sandown Raceway’s grandstand is now, across the road from the great red roofed barns on the hill. In 1870, the driveway to the family home came from what is now the Pat Bay Highway.

Here is Anny talking about her decision to buy the farm, dubbed "the spooky place" by her parents:

"... the desire to buy the Spooky Place overtook me...... The dogs and I turned off Glamorgan Road to walk up the driveway, full of potholes and littered with trash, towards the great, looming cross-shaped barn. The building was open to the outdoors, and a few streams of sunlight filtered through the boarded-up windows. I went up an old wooden ladder to the loft. Birds were nesting high in the red cedar rafters. As I sat there, I felt a curious energy go through me. It wasn’t the ‘sudden joy’ I’d been experiencing but a calm and good feeling coming from the barn loft itself. The barn seemed to speak to me, almost as if it were smiling."
As the author of three books, inspired by almost decade of ownership of Glamorgan Farm, and the daughter of Canadian artists, Bruno and Molly Lamb Bobak, Anny's "Musings" will surely be an entertaining and thought provoking evening

Saturday October 15, Ag Hall 7:30 pm - "Crossing the Salish Sea: Land Mammals of the Gulf Islands" with Dave Nagorsen


Small Mammals Poster

The history of the land mammal fauna of the Gulf Islands has been dynamic with a number of past extinctions and ongoing colonizations including the recent arrival of alien species. Going back to last ice-age, Dave will trace the history of the land mammals, how they managed to reach the islands, and conservation issues associated with these animals.

Dave was the mammal curator at the Royal BC Museum for many years and has written four handbooks on the province’s mammals. He has long been fascinated by island biogeography and the mammals of BC’s islands.

Saturday August 20th, Dinner Bay Park 8:30 pm - "Introduction to the Night Sky" - David Lee

Night Sky Poster David Lee is a well known amateur astronomer and an advocate of public outreach in astronomy and science. He is a member of the Royal Astronomical Society, Victoria Centre. His photographs have been published in Sky News, Sky & Telescope and on various space related websites. He has been the website editor for the Victoria Centre and is DaveXX of the "Royal Astronomical Society of Daves".

There will be a talk and a slide presentation in the pavillionat 8:30 with hands-on stargazing theresafter.

Plan to come early! Shortly after 7:00 o'clock we will have croquet and boules sets to occupy your time while we wait for dusk - Bring a blanket and a picnic.!



Saturday April 16th, Ag Hall 7:30 pm - "Journey Below the Surface" - Doug Biffard

Below Surface Poster Join Doug Biffard for a a slide-show journey into the undersea world of British Columbia and abroad. He will offer an historical perspective about what long time divers are saying about what they see below the surface.

Doug started snorkeling when he was 4 years old with gear he borrowed form his uncle (when he wasn't looking). In 1975, Doug signed up for open water certification in Kelowna and dove Okanagan Lake from one end to the other - no not in one dive! From freshwater beginnings Doug moved on to all sorts of diving both sport and light commercial. Exotic dive trips started with a high school road trip to Powell River in 1976, then Mexico a couple of times and followed recently to Hawaii and Rarotonga. In his other life Doug is an aquatic ecologist with BC Parks.

Saturday February 12th, Ag Hall 7:30 pm - " Native Pollinating Bees and Protecting their Habitats" - Gord Hutchings

MICS Bees Poster Gord Hutchings is a Victoria native, and has lived and now owns property on Saturna Island since 1994. He worked as a field biologist for the B.C. Conservation Data Centre, the Royal BC Museum, the Canadian Wildlife Service and the Yukon Territory Gov't doing field entomology collecting. His research at UVic was on the orchard mason bees and he now volunteers with several groups on Vancouver Island such as The Compost Education Centre, Swan Lake Nature Centre, and Glendale Gardens where he teaches, and holds public awareness sessions about native bee pollinators, dragonflies and other insects.

Gord promises this will be an awesome talk with lots of display materials, including cut-aways of ground nesting bees, photos of native bees, different socialities of native bee species, handouts and more.

For more info visit Gord's Website

Conservation Talks 2010

Thursday April 22nd Ag Hall 7:30 pm - Living on the Edge

Living on the Edge Poster The Lives of Seabirds off NW Vancouver Island - with Michael Dunn

A celebration of Earth Day and a presentation on the extraordinary lives of seabirds off the northwest coast of Vancouver Island, one of the biodiversity hotspots for marine organisms on the Pacific coast of North America.

The number of seabird species who spend some part of their lives here is high, including the most diverse colonies found in the eastern Pacific Ocean.

This is a story of their lives, and about the trials and tribulations of living on the edge.

If you missed the talk we will present a summary of Michael's presentation here, together with links to some of the significant slides shown. Coming soon! Meantime check out a few pictures of this and other earth Week activities on our Gallery page

Saturday May 1st Ag Hall 7:30 pm - Know Your Birds - Part 2

Know Your Birds Poster The Spring and Summer Birds of Mayne Island - with Michael Dunn

This was a follow-up to the popular winter bird workshop and targeted the spring and summer birds of Mayne Island. The core of the workshop provided participants with the skills, using field markings, to identify more of the diverse bird fauna on the island. The spring and summer focuses more on our forest dwelling birds where field marks and calls are critical to their identification. A good number of beginner birders (and others) joined Michael Dunn for this engaging workshop.

Illustrations of some of the raptors, sparrows, flycatchers and others discussed during the evening's slide show and Q&A session will appear here in a few days. Check back later!

Saturday August 14th, Dinner Bay Park 7:30 pm - "The Fire Management Paradox: Balancing Re-growth and Risk in Canada's National Parks"

The Fire Management Paradox Poster Rob Walker will talk about the paradox inherent in trying to manage forest fires in protected areas and how Parks Canada tries to overcome it. I will use examples from two very different ecosystems, Garry Oak ecosystems, found locally, and Whitebark Pine ecosystems, found at treeline through portions of the Western Cordillera, to illustrate our approach. We will explore their status, ecology. fire regimes, cultural connections and the fire management approaches that Parks Canada, and others, are taking to sustain them.

Rob worked in fire management in national parks in the Aspen Parkland and Rocky Mountains for 12 years before moving to Gulf Islands National Park Reserve in 2004. During his time in the Rockies, he managed the fire management program for 2.5 national parks totalling 6,000km2. Rob originally came to Gulf Islands as the Fire & Vegetation Specialist and has since become the Manager of Resource Conservation.

Rob has extensive experience in fire suppression and in the use of fire to achieve ecological objectives. He has been a member of a Parks Canada National Incident Management Team for 17 years. Rob earned a BSc in Ecology from the University of Calgary and has been actively involved in research including reconstructing paleoecological fire and disturbance regimes, quantifying prescribed fire effects, whitebark pine conservation and wildfire risk assessment.


In April, some Mayne Island land owners attended a workshop we presented on the Stewardship of Sensitive Ecosystems. That initial workshop was put on in response to the recent Sensitive Ecosystem Mapping and a letter sent to some of you by the Islands Trust in late 2009 detailing one or more sensitive ecosystems that might have been identified on your property. By request we are now offering a follow-up workshop on Conservation Covenants which you are invited to attend. It will take place Saturday October 30 at the Agricultural Hall from 11 am to 3:30 pm. Lunch will be available.

A conservation covenant is a legal agreement between a landowner and authorized land trusts (usually two). This legal agreement remains attached to the title of the lands in perpetuity, and defines allowable and restricted uses for the property. Land donations and land purchases are other ways of protecting private land in BC.

The first part of the workshop will focus on stories from and about landowners who have placed conservation covenants on all or part of their property. Sylvia Pincott from Pender Island will talk about the NAPTEP covenant she has placed on her land and Rose Longini will tell her stories of the working landscape covenant on her Galiano property. Short case studies from a DVD called People Protecting Places made by the Land Trust Alliance of B.C. (LTABC) will broaden the picture of possibilities. Following lunch, Kate Emmings, Ecosystems Protection Specialist with the Islands Trust Fund, will talk about the Natural Area Protection Tax Exemption Program (NAPTEP) and Adam Taylor, Executive Director of Habitat Acquisiton Trust (HAT), will address other covenanting possibilities including steps to be taken towards achieving a conservation covenant. If time permits, there will be an introduction to the EcoGift program.

We hope you will consider joining us for this informative workshop. If you should have questions please do not hesitate to contact Helen O'Brian, MICS, or planner Alison Fox, Islands Trust. If you are planning to attend please RSVP Helen so that we can better arrange lunch.

Contact Info: Helen O'Brian [250-539-5619 or 250-405-5194] heleno@gulfislands.com    Alison Fox afox@islandstrust.bc.ca

Field Trips 2013

Astronomy in the Park

Saturday August 11th 8:30 - Mayne School Grounds N.B Venue change!)

Join Bruce Lane, @quarky_hiker) for an introductory lecture in the Gazebo, followed by the guided viewing of the night sky through a telecope or two

If you own a telescope bring it along, together with blankets, tea and any other sustenance that you might need. Please, red filtered flashlights only during the observing session

Bruce is the resident amateur astronomer and nature enthusiast at QuarkyScience.ca He is a member of the Victoria chapter of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada and enjoys introducing the public to sky watching at star parties and special events. Bruce is also an avid hiker and photographer

Oceans Day 2013 on Mayne

Sunday June 8 - at Miners Bay

Join MICS on June 8th as we celebrate World Oceans Day! Proposed by the government of Canada at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, June 8th has been declared “World Oceans Day,” and is celebrated annually around the globe. This day offers the chance for people to explore, learn and celebrate our connections to the oceans. This year marks the 20th Anniversary of the Mayne Island Community Oceans Day. Open to all ages!

Objectives of World Oceans Day

Local tide conditions on the 8th are favourable this year we will be doing "Ocean's Day" on the day chosen for international celebrations. The theme of World Ocean's Day this year is "Wear Blue, Tell two (friends)!" Children of all ages and interested adults are welcome join us from midday to mid-afternoon.

Each station will run at set times but may change depending on numbers of folks attending etc. Meet at the gazebo in Miners Bay Community Park.
  • 12:00-12:45 approx - BEACH SEINE: We will explore the intertidal zone of Miners Bay with Michael Dunn & MICS Staff and look for creatures that call our eelgrass beds home.
  • 1:00-2:00 or so - UNDER THE SEA: Scuba Divers collect weird and wonderful sub-tidal sea creatures for viewing in our aquariums on Miners Bay dock.
  • 2:00-3:00 THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS: Peer below the waves with aqua scopes and glimpse the underwater communities of the dock. Microscopes will be set up on the Community Dock to view the ocean's tiniest, and most important, creatures
Bring your curiosity and a lunch and join us at the beach on the eighth!

In addition this years event will include a jellyfish making craft and watershed model demonstration. NEW this year are ocean displays from local organizations such as the Galiano Conservancy Association, SeaChange Marine Conservation Society, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society BC, and the Georgia Strait Alliance.

Field Trips 2012

Sunday June 3rd 2012 Oceans Day, 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm at Miners Bay

Sunday June 3 - at Miners Bay

Local tide conditions indicate that we do Ocean's Day here according to our schedule, and June 3 is it this year. The theme of World Ocean's Day on June 8th this year is "Youth: the Next Wave for Change." Children of all ages and interested adults are welcome join us from mid morning to early afternoon.

Each station will run at set times but may change depending on numbers of folks attending etc. Meet at the gazebo in Miners Bay Community Park.
  • 1015 approx - We will explore the intertidal zone of Miners Bay with Michael Dunn which might include fossil finding.
  • 1130 or so - Out on the dock with Leanna Boyer looking at plankton and other marine organisms around the dock structures.
  • 1 pm or thereabouts - We will pull in the beach seine and discover marine organisms that are found in eelgrass beds. An aquarium will be set up for close up observations.
  • Bring your curiosity and a lunch and join us at the beach on the third!.

If we have large numbers we will do the first two as rotations where half the folks go with Leanna out on the dock and the other half go with Michael, and then round switch at about 1130. The beach seine will be done for all at or near to the time set.

An article about Oceans Day on Mayne by Jessica Easton, with some of Toby Snelgrove's photos appears in the June issue of Aqua - find it here & scroll to page 38 et seq.

Field Trips 2011

Sunday July 3rd 2011 Oceans Day, 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm at Piggott Bay

World Ocean's Day was on June 8th in 2011 however the state of the tides in our region meant that we could not undertake our usual educatiional activities at a convenient time of day. The following is an excerpt from the Fisheries and Oceans Canada page that sets out the aims of the day:

http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/oceans/events-evenements/oceansday-journeedesoceans/index-eng.htm

Oceans Day at Piggott Bay:Join Leanna and Michael for beach exploration, beach seine and plankton tow. Discover the fish that live in the eelgrass bed as the seine net is pulled in. Observe microscopic plankton through a microscope and explore the sand, mud and rocks where the adult versions of zooplankton live!

Be prepared to get your feet wet and don’t forget sunscreen!

... After the event
On July 3rd the Conservancy celebrated Oceans Day with the Mayne Island community. Sixty-seven people gathered at Piggott Bay and discovered fascinating creatures on the rocks, wading in shallows and observing the results of a beach seine (even an eel-like fish called high cockscomb). Low tide exposes creatures you wouldn’t normally find, like the porcelain crab and colourful chitons (a participant found one that was brilliant blue and rimmed with orange! ). It was a glorious day and a great way to celebrate our ocean!

An Image gallery by Toby Snelgrove can be found in the Directory of Mayne Island Events at Toby's new web site

Sunday Walkabouts 2011

Photo credits: Toby Snelgrove

The Conservancy announces a series of Sunday Morning Walkabouts to take place on the morning after our bi-weekly attendance at the Farmers Market (go here for the summer 2011 schedule)

The first of the series will be a hike up the Vulture Ridge Trail to a fabulous view point in Henderson Hill Community Park led by Peter Askin of Mayne Island Parks and Rec. Meet at 10:00 am June 19th in the parking lot beyond cul de sac turnaround at the end of Beechwood Drive. The trail is 1.1 km and is rated by "Parks" as difficult. Bring good footwear and water

July 17th - Birders' Ramble with Michael Dunn. Michael will be at the Farmers Market on the 16th with a number birding resources on hand to provide access to avian info of all kinds & to talk about the next days's field trip.

Michael plans to start the walk at the junction of Dalton and Merryman - meet at 10:00 am.

July 31 - Helen O'Brian - Punch's Alley to the Sea. Meet at Punch's Alley near the end of Simpson Road at 10am. Note that parking is very limited so it is best to park on Gallagher Bay Road and enjoy the pastoral walk down Simpson. Bring water and a snack to enjoy on the beach - long pants suggested and sensible footwear advised!

Aug 14 - Betty Ann Graves - The Three Trails of Edith Point. The hikers can observe how different each trail is in a relatively small area. Meet at the end of Edith Point Road at 10am. Hiking shoes/walking shoes needed. Binoculars a good idea. It will be a 5 km hike to do the 3 trails, plus a return trip to the starting point.



August 21       The Community Gardens with Steve Cropper - Want to know more about this greenest of green projects? Meet at the Community Centre at 10:00 am for a Tour & Talk

Toby Snelgrove's Pot Goddess Poster here

Coming Sunday Walkabout destinations:

Further Details T.B.A.

Field Trips 2010

Sunday June 13, Oceans Day - 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Piggott Bay




Come celebrate Oceans Day at Piggott Bay. We are celebrating Oceans Day on June 13 this year because the tide is nice and low. Join biologists Michael Dunn, Leanna Boyer and Miriam Isaac-Renton for beach explorations, fish print making and live aquarium. Find out what kinds of fish live in the eelgrass bed with a beach seine led by Michael.





Saturday Aug 14th, Henderson Hill Community Park 2:00 pm - Walk and Talk with Tsartlip Educator and Historian John Elliott

The Fire Management Paradox Poster



John Elliott is an educator, historian and member of the Tsartlip First Nation, part of the Saanich People, whose territory is centered on the Saanich Peninsula and the Southern Gulf Islands. He is Chairman of the Saanich Native Heritage Society, and language and culture teacher at the LAU,WELNEW Tribal School. This event will be an opportunity for Mayne Island residents and visitors to learn about the indigenous history and cultural heritage of this area, and the relationship of the Tsartlip to these islands.

Meet at the Trailhead at the end of the dirt road. Bring water, sunscreen and adequate footwear for trail walking.

Sunday September 5th, "Maynely up" - A CRD Sponsored Walking Tour of Mt. Parke with the Conservancy's Michael Dunn

Join the CRD Regional Parks guest naturalist Michael Dunn to explore hidden treasures on the way to the summit. Bring a snack and water and wear sturdy shoes. The views are the best in the Gulf Islands. Meet at the Kim Road access at 1:00 in the afternoon.

The CRD classifies this event as a longer hike, having fewer interpretive stops. Trails may be uneven with steep sections. 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm | All ages

To view the full CRD Nature Walks calendar, click here

Saturday April 28 - Edible Spring: a Native Plant Walk and Workshop with Jenna Rudolph - 11am to 3 pm at Hatake

Edible Poster Come for an instructive walk followed by a wild, harvested salad and learn how to make a medicinal vinegar. We will learn the edible, medicinal and traditional uses of the plants, techniques for identification and how to recognize different families. What plant can you use if you get stung by a bee? What is our local source of Vitamin C? What local plant makes the strongest fiber?

Pre-registration is requested due to limited space - Call 250-539-5168 - $10.00
Hatake can be found at 622 Gallagher Bay Road

Bring a sandwich to accompany the wild salad and a quart jar for your medicinal vinegar. For information on Jenna and her work check out her Eagle Awareness site

Workshops 2014

Invasive Plant Management Sunday April 13th, 2014 12:30 to 2:30 pm - Ag Hall: Admission by Donation


Please join us to learn how to manage invasive plant species on Mayne Island. We will use hands-on examples to demonstrate the best management practices for controlling and eradicating invasive plant species. We will focus on species such as: Scotch broom, daphne, Himalayan blackberry, English ivy, St. John’s wort, holly, and bull thistle. Specific questions welcomed!

Following the workshop, there will be a broom removal event at Henderson Park from 3:30 - 5:30pm for anyone who wants to practice their recently learned techniques.

Invasive species are considered the third largest threat to local ecosystems after habitat loss and deer overpopulation. Managing these unwelcome arrivals can help increase the health of our native species, reduce the risk of fire, and increase property values. Learning the best techniques and having a well thought out management plan will ensure your efforts to not go to waste.



Plant Propagation Workshop Saturday February 1st, 2014 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm - Ag Hall

This event is co-sponsored by The Mayne Island Conservancy Society, Garden Club, and Ag Society. The workshop will provide a hands-on introduction to gardening with native plants found locally on Mayne Island. After a short introduction by Biologist Rob Underhill, participants will be led through five hands-on stations. The five stations will include:

Tea/coffee and muffins will be provided. Make sure you sign up early to secure a spot, this workshop requires pre-registration on a first come basis (capacity = 25). Cost is by donation. Contact Rob Underhill to sign up: biologist@conservancyonmayne.com or phone 250-539-5168.

Looking back on the event Rob Underhill wrote: Photo of Ag Hall all set up

"Last Saturday the Mayne Island Conservancy Society, Garden Club, and Ag Society hosted 26 people for a hands-on native plant propagation workshop. People rotated through five hands on stations led by volunteers and MICS staff. A great time was had by all, and participants left with cuttings or seeds from five species of native plant including: arbutus, snowberry, oceanspray, evergreen huckleberry, and vanilla leaf. A special thanks to those who brought home baked muffins to make our mid-workshop snack break a tasty one!"


To the right Exhibit Tables - check, Chairs - check, Lights - check, Projector - check! Action ... and no more camera or at least time to open the shutter!

People who attended or, of course anyone else who might be interested, can read the station notes that were presented at the workshop, or save them for future reference - links appear below:

Seedy Saturday February 8th, 2014 2:00pm to 4:00pm - Ag Hall



This event is co-sponsored by the Mayne Island Conservancy Society, Garden Club, and Ag Society.

We hope this will become a popular annual event on Mayne Island. Everyone is welcome to come and bring seeds, bulbs, tubers, divisions, etc. for trade or to give away.

Some seeds may also be available for sale. So whether you have a favorite tomato variety to trade, extra wildflower seeds to share, or are looking for something new for your garden, come on down and enjoy the fun!







Growing Native Wild Flowers from Seed Wednesday February 19th, 2014 2:00pm to 4:00pm - Ag Hall


This event is co-sponsored by the Mayne Island Conservancy Society, Garden Club, and Ag Society.

Biologist Rob Underhill will be presenting on how to grow native plants from seed; including collection, storage, stratification, and sowing.

We are lucky to live in a part of the world with such a large selection of stunning wildflowers, learn what species are available and how to incorporate them into your home garden. Everyone welcome!

Mayne Island Garden Club membership renewal will be available.

Workshops 2013


Live Staking Workshop 10:00 - 1:00 pm Friday March 15th 2013

This is a free workshop to teach the plant propagation method of live staking. This method involves taking hardwood cuttings and sticking them directly on-site. This workshop will have a strong hands-on focus as we will be performing a large live-staking project as a group during the workshop. The plant species we will be using is pink spiraea.

We will meet at 10am at 270 Georgina Point Rd. The workshop will run for approximately 2-3 hours. We will supply gloves and tools but please make sure to bring footwear and clothing suitable to the weather as we will be outside the entire time.

Please let me know if you plan to attend so I can make sure to have the right amount of tools and information handouts.

Saturday March 2nd 2013, 1:00-4:00 pm Ag Hall - Coastal Communities: Adapting to Climate Change & Rising Sea Levels


Presented by Grant Lamont P.Eng

Grant is a senior coastal and metocean engineer with SNC-Lavalin who has worked on projects ranging from large harbour developments to small shoreline restorations. His experience includes construction supervision, managing field data collections, and the application of both physical and numerical models. His physical modelling work includes ship motion studies, breakwater stability, shoreline revetments, and sediment transport modelling.

Mr. Lamont has been involved in projects in Canada, USA (Washington, Oregon, New York, Louisiana, Michigan), Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, Peru, Panama, Australia, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Madagascar, and Sri Lanka. He will discuss innovative approaches to adapting to sea level rise that work with nature.

An update on MICS shoreline work and a short field trip to Miners Bay beach will round off the workshop.

Tickets at the door: $10.00 includes refreshments - Please RSVP Email: lboyer@shaw.ca Phone:250-539-5168

Saturday February 23rd 2013, 12:00-3:00 pm Mayne School - Mason Bee Talk & Box Building Workshop

The Conservancy hosts Gord Hutchings who will be giving a talk on native bees, and a box making workshop. Box making will involve the construction of 3-tiered condos for native cavity-nesting bees. Gord is an entomologist who has been studying insects for several decades, and is a recognized expert on native pollinators. He has given numerous workshops on this topic and is dedicated to spreading education about our native bees, their habitat needs, and their importance in matters of food security.

The workshop will begin at 12:00 pm at the Mayne School, with an hour talk followed by a half hour lunch break (a light lunch will be provided). After lunch, box building will begin and will go to around 3:30pm. The cost will be $20 to cover material expenses and food. Please RSVP for this event either by email or phone 250-539-5168. Book early - space may be limited!

Workshops 2012

Saturday March 24 2012 - Invasive Plant Management - 3:30pm to 5pm at the Ag Hall

Invasives Poster The Conservancy will be hosting this workshop at the Agricultural Hall. It is being offered as a follow-up to the presentation by Jennifer Grenz from the Invasive Plant Council of Metro Vancouver a few weeks ago. The upcoming workshop will focus specifically on methods for identifying and managing invasive species present on Mayne Island..

We will have samples on hand to demonstrate identification characteristics and proper cutting techniques. We will describe best known practices for each species including long term management, preventing re-introduction, and when herbicide is an appropriate tool to use. The key to managing invasive plant species is learning about how each species grows and reproduces, and using that knowledge to identify efficient methods for management.

We will be focusing on Daphne, Ivy, Holly, Scotch Broom, Periwinkle, St. John's Wort, Blackberry, Bull Thistle, and Giant Hogweed. Please bring a notebook and pen/pencil. A digital camera may also be useful for remembering how to identify the different species.


Native Plant Propagation Workshop Report

On Saturday, February 11th, 2012 the Mayne Island Conservancy Society hosted 24 community members for an afternoon of hands on learning. Workshop participants worked their way through five stations covering native plant propagation by a variety of techniques including starting seeds, taking cuttings, and making moss slurry. Everyone had a great time and gained a lot of knowledge with presenters and participants learning from each other and sharing stories of success, failure, and hope. Each participant left with their own native plant cuttings and seeds. The event would not have been possible without the generous donation of time and expertise from the station leaders: Michael Dunn, Helen O’Brian, Trish Hoff, and Lauren Hobson.

We hope that native plant gardening continues to gain popularity within the community, and that community members continue to share the stories of success (and failure) of their propagation adventures. If you missed or could not attend the event but would like to learn more about gardening with native plants please let the conservancy know and they just might organize another workshop!

Toby Snelgrove was on hand, and took some pictures:

MICS staff member Rob Underhill shows workshop participants arbutus seeds that germinated after spending 43 days in the fridge; an example of artificial cold stratificationStation leader Trish Hoff demonstrates the art of making moss slurry while in the background Michael Dunn shows how easy it is to propagate broad leaved stone-crop from cutting.More moss madness, these diminutive organisms are fascinating once you get to know them!

For more shots of this event go to Toby's SmugMug site

Here are the resource materials (.pdf format) for each station:

Workshops 2010

Sunday October 24th, Ag Hall 1:00 to 3:00 pm - " Get to Know your Grasses"

The Grass ID Poster Presented by Miriam Isaac-Renton, this summer's MICS intern working with distinction in our Shoreline Care project. A long time visitor to Mayne Island, Miriam studied Natural Resources Conservation at UBC and conducted independent research for use in presentations as a Coastal Naturalist aboard BC Ferries. She has also contributed to a scientific paper regarding the flora and fauna of Southwestern BC and acted as a research assistant in targeted studies in the Strait of Georgia.

Bring samples of grasses you want to identify. Participants will receive a “cheat sheet” for identifying the most common native and non-native grasses.




Saturday October 30th, Ag Hall 11:00 am to 3:30 pm - "A Conservation Covenant Workshop"

Covenant Poster

AGM 2013

Financial Reporting

While the financial statements for the year ending December 31, 2012, as examined by Dale Matheson Carr-Hilton Labonte will be presented at the meeting, a short article based on interim results, appeared in the March issue of the Mayneliner to inform the community about how the Conservancy's activities contribute to the local and regional economy. An edited version is reproduced here complete with explanatory pie charts. Additional charts and graphs highlighting other aspects of the Society's performance will be prepared and shown at the AGM in order to add a visual element to our reporting.

2012 was a very active year for the Mayne Island Conservancy on the water and on land. Our Shoreline Care and Community Stewardship projects are big tasks, and have depended for a large part on support from the corporate world, from government and from independent charitable foundations (the Victoria Foundation, VanCity’s EnviroFund, and Environment Canada’s EcoAction fund.)

Most of these funds have been spent right here on Mayne Island: paying staff, buying project supplies, running education programs. Close to $140,000 has been disbursed in this way over the last two years – representing “new” money circulating in this community.

Our grant applications include carefully conceived budgets, detailed schedules of activities and anticipated outcomes in terms of environmental and community benefits. A significant portion of these applications covers how MICS will make its own contribution to these projects under the headings of cash, resources and in-kind donations of time from volunteers or gifts of materials. Chasing after large amounts of money to further our work on Mayne Island is a continuing process and would not be possible without the support of many individuals here and elsewhere.

The Society may appear to be well funded for 2013, but the support of volunteers and donors is essential to the execution of our projects. We have three, sometimes more, employees and various volunteers to co-ordinate, large amounts of data to record and analyze, as well as field tools and supplies to store. We can’t operate off the corner of a Director’s dining room table any more! So we now rent premises and own computers, network infrastructure and software and pay for internet and phone connections. Granting agencies usually don’t cover administrative costs. We’re doing this because we count (humbly and appreciatively!) on the generosity of our donors, most of whom live on Mayne or visit the island regularly. But this does put us in a very vulnerable position.

We source locally as a first priority and then go elsewhere, but still in the region. The specialized weatherproof signage for Henderson Hill and Plumper Pass Park was the first time we’ve gone further than that. Our employees have been full time or part-time residents of the island and last year’s Shoreline Care and Stewardship project payroll amounted to $94,000. This figure has been covered by various grants and subsidies.

On the down side, $8000 worth of administrative time (much spent in applying for funds!) has not been covered. At the same time an estimate of the value provided by operational and administrative volunteers – the society’s directors and many others – is at least $65,000. This in-kind and volunteer component is a significant part of our operational success! However, cash donations representing 51% of our non-grant revenue only totaled $9,000 for the year.

Putting it bluntly, we really rely on grant funding, maybe too much. The Conservancy is just one of many groups competing for limited agency funds. Without local support, continuation of our projects may be threatened. To that end we will be looking for your very important involvement in our fundraising activities. As the folks on Knowledge Network say, whether it’s a bequest, or the cost of a few cups of coffee a month, every bit helps. And your contributions help us do more to protect the diversity and natural beauty of our island.

AGM 2012

Business Meeting

The agenda included reports from President, Michael Dunn, from our Executive Director, Leanna Boyer and the Treasurer, Alan Ryder. Members heard about the progress in our projects and our plans for the rest of 2012 and financial results and budgets were presented

The nominated Directors were elected, there being no nominations from the floor. The meeting ended with a Q & A session and all present were invited to return for our "Raising the Green" St. Patrick's Day evening!

Raising the Green

Crowds duly attended, potlucks were shared, while fundraising events whipped by and dancing broke out to the accompaniment of the "gypsy fusion orchestra" known as Compassion Gorilla, pictured below.

The Morning After
Group photo of Compassion Gorilla

Helen O'Brian writes to helpers AND members & guests:
What a great FUNdraiser . . . and, I think, we all had fun, even if it was exhausting (or maybe I speak for myself)! and . . . Everyone pitched in magnificently and made it all happen, so a very big round of applause for us all!.The music was terrific - thanks Chris and all the other band members. You can come back anytime. The kitchen and food table were very ably watched over by Rob and Lauren and Harold. The dishes actually got done without any seeming difficulties. The food was delicious and the silent auction items diverse and interesting. Again, many thanks.

Some pictures of the evening's festivities are posted on our Gallery page

AGM 2011

This Year's Guest


Froggy Festivities and Salamandrid Shindigs: spring stirrings in the amphibian world

David Cunnington is the Ecological Gifts Program Coordinator at Environment Canada’s Canadian Wildlife Service. He has worked to protect endangered and threatened wildlife for the past 10 years. Before he became involved in species at risk, he conducted surveys of bats, amphibians and reptiles in the South Okanagan, researched control of introduced tree snakes on the island of Guam, and investigated the effects of fish stocking on amphibian populations.

Dave has worked and lived in the Bay of Fundy, Algonquin Park, Guam, the South Okanagan, the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, and the Canadian prairies. He has also participated in the Christmas Bird Count on Mayne Island several times. This promises to be a lively and informative afternoon, not to be missed, with delicious refreshments included.

The Presentation

Thanks to Mike Nadeau for the following summary of Dave's talk:

On March 19, we held our AGM at the Agricultural Hall. We had good attendance, with lots of smiles and fresh baked goodies. We unanimously received the business and financials, and in fact every vote was refreshingly supported by everyone in the hall. We thanked Peter Askin and Barbara MacIntyre, who stepped down from the board, for their years of service; and welcomed Deb Foote, and Malcom Inglis. Peter Askin was the force behind the Broom Action Team (BAT). If you'd like to get out and tackle the invasive hoards, the new contact is Harold Kasinski, who is always looking for a few good “bashers.” After the AGM, a crowd ignored the sunny weather to hear David Cunnigham's interesting talk titled “Froggy Festivities and Salamandrid Shindigs: Spring Stirrings in the Amphibian World.” David treated us to his wealth of information from working with amphibians including the history and characteristics of our local froggy friends. Did you know? Amphibians were the first vertebrates to come up on land, about 400 million years ago. They are the only vertebrates to go through a total metamorphosis, going from water to land. They possess permeable skin, which water and compounds pass through: they breathe and drink through their skin! Most of us have seen a frog or two hopping across the road, or hiding in a wood pile but this time of year they REALLY make themselves known!

Normally reclusive, the Pacific Chorus Frog (formally the Pacific Tree Frog), congregate around ponds, ditches and water courses to sing every spring. David informed us only the male frogs and toads vocalize they do this to attract mates and advertise their territory. They accomplish this by forcing air over their vocal chords between their inflated throats and lungs, so they sing without opening their mouths! We also learned about their life cycles and how various amorous amphibians make tadpoles.

Historically, amphibians have been seen as an expression of water. In many mythological traditions worldwide, the link has been so great, that in times of drought, various cultures worship amphibians to restore the natural cycles and bring the rains. Right now frogs need our help. Since the 1970s, amphibian numbers around the world have been declining; once large populations are facing extinction. We can do a few things locally to lessen our impact on these creatures who are vital to our local ecosystems. Preserving brush and aquatic plants around riparian areas can provide vital cover and habitat. Be careful with chemical fertilizers and sewage as they are particularly sensitive to these and have no choice but to absorb them through their skin. Please do not use herbicides such as Round-Up (which is banned on a few Gulf Islands) which has been proven to adversely affect amphibians. Also note that introducing fish to waterways can wipe out frog and salamanders as tadpoles and eggs are used as food for most fish species. Enjoy the chorus!

A splendidlly camouflaged salamanderA Wood Frog on the forest floor

More Froggy Information!

BC Frogwatch

Canadian Amphibian and Reptile Network

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