Trail lovers: Now is the time to renew or join the Cowichan Lake Trail Blazers Society. Our dues are due March 1 every year and remain in effect for a year. Joining gives you a voice at our upcoming April 21 Annual General Meeting, plus lets you in on all the latest about the exciting new trails we’re building in the Cowichan Lake area. Joining also nets you a membership card such as the downloadable card above or a wallet card you can pick up at Ed’s Coffee Shop in Lake Cowichan. Show the card at Carmanah Pizza for the TrailBlazer discount. Thanks for joining us.
The message that we have gained from this year is “Patience.” The Cowichan Lake Trail Blazers Society has been patiently awaiting a land-use agreement from our stakeholder partner, Mosaic Forest Management. We happy to report that we have received the second draft of an agreement specific to our project and the lands Mosaic have offered for the development of world class hiking and cycling trails.
Inch by inch, we are getting closer and our potential agreement has made it to the top of the pile to be finalized. Mosaic has been working with their legal team on renewing several agreements on Vancouver Island and we applaud the dedication of their group as they work with other societies to allow legal access to their lands for various recreational activities.
Over this past year, the Society has not been idle. We have had many Zoom meetings to keep the project moving forward. This project was born with the funding assistance of the Province as well as Island Coastal Economic Trust. Most notably, we have recently received our Trail Development Master Plan which was completed by Mark Woods of Trail Holistics. From this plan, we were able to identify the starting point of a trail network with some estimated costs so that we can go about raising funds to start building the network.
We were recently awarded a generous grant from Mid Island Co-op that enabled us to purchase and outfit a small cargo trailer to store and move our trail building tools around. We are truly grateful for their community support. See the accompanying story for more details.
As we move into 2021, our focus will now turn to raising funds through grants, sponsorships, donations and memberships. We are thankful to our membership and hope that many more visit our website and sign-up or donate. At a cost of $200 per metre, trail building is not an endeavour that comes at no cost.
Our new equipment trailer sponsored by Mid Island Co-op has arrived. When it is not in use, it will be parked at Mid Island Co-op in Lake Cowichan. You’ll enjoy looking at the graphics designed by Deborah Price and wrap produced and applied by Sign Fast in Nanaimo. Photo (Left – Right): Leona Skills, Manager Mid Island Co-op, and Lynn Klein, CLTBS Director at Large.
One of the most important aspects of trail building and maintenance, is the use of proper tools. The other important component is where to keep tools and the challenge of how tools will be transported to the area where they are required. To this end, CLTBS Directors investigated a few options and it was decided what would best serve the needs was a covered utility trailer, and the search was on.
There was another obstacle to acquiring such a conveyance: MONEY. Cara Smith, CLTBS Treasurer, applied, and was awarded funding from Mid Island Co-op to purchase a trailer and to cover the cost of the design, production and application of a trailer wrap. “On behalf of all of our members, Mid Island Co-op thanks you for this opportunity to give back to our community through supporting your organization,” states Ian Anderson, Chief Executive Officer, and Iris Taylor, Funds Allocation Committee Chair.
After weeks of searching, the group decided on a trailer from Maverick Marine and Trailer Sales in Campbell River that provided the organization with the best price on a brand new 2021 covered utility trailer. We were even more pleased to learn that the trailer had been manufactured in Lethbridge Alberta, making this an even better purchase, as we were supporting Canadian jobs.
The next step was to have the custom graphics designed. These graphics needed to be anything other than normal. The graphics had to reflect the community the CLTBS had planned on developing trails in and it also had to be something that would be eye-catching. We engaged the talents of Deborah Price, of Debora Price Photography. Ms. Price is a photo artist who specializes in a dynamic method of photo magic she calls TWISTOGRAPHY. As you will see from the photo above, the graphics are unique.
The final step in the process was having the custom design wrapped to the trailer. This wrap was produced and applied by Sign Fast (a company in Nanaimo). Ms. Price says, “The owner of the company was a joy to work with and provided me with great directions on how to lay out my graphics so they would fit exactly.” The trailer is now in Lake Cowichan and is an eye-catching rolling CLTBS billboard.
The 2021 Annual General Meeting for the Cowichan Lake Trail Blazers society will be held on April 21, 2021, at 6:30 pm. The location will be announced closer to the date, but will most likely be online through zoom. Members in good standing will receive an email a couple of days prior to the meeting with a link to the meeting. Make sure your membership is up to date so you get the invitation and can vote on any important matters that come up at the meeting. On the agenda will be an update on our new trail system and the election of the 2021 board. If you are interested in serving on the board, email us at email@example.com. Until then, see you on the trails!
This is my favourite time of year to be on the trail. The colours are changing, small streams are starting to flow again and it’s a lot cooler for “Hyckling.”
With the permission of TimberWest Forest Company, Mark Woods from Trail Holistics has been out on the land mapping out our proposed new trail network. We should have his final report in about a month. Mark is known around the province for his approach to the development of sustainable trail networks and working with government and trail societies.
Mark is also partnered with the Cowichan Trail Stewardship Society, teaching and certifying a group of young people in the process of building good trails. Mark will also be offering a weekend trail building workshop in Lake Cowichan in the new year sponsored by the Cowichan Lake Trail Blazers Society.
As we inch closer to a land use agreement, we hope to capitalize on some major grant funding to hire some of those young trail builders. Our short term goal is to complete two world-class trails in the next 12 months.
For now, we ask you to visit our website and consider becoming a member or making a donation. All membership funds are put towards the construction and maintenance of trails. Fact: it costs approx. $200 to build one meter of trail.
Check out this CTV video featuring Cowichan Lake’s Bald Mountain Trail. Don’t forget to turn on the volume. If you haven’t hiked it yet, this video will inspire you to do it today!