The Steward Newsletter – March 2010

The Steward Spring 2010
important creek, which flows out at Cherry Point Beach in Cobble Hill. Initial fieldwork helped us understand our newly adopted creek’s importance, identifying Coho and Chum salmon spawners for example. Workshops in February and March with Dave Polster and Dave Clough taught restoration techniques to local streamkeepers, including how to restore eroding creek banks using tree cuttings. Participants also learned other instream methods to help nature recover from damage caused by human development. Project funding comes from EcoAction and the Public Conservation Assistance Fund.
Local Streamkeepers Begin Garnett Creek Restoration
With the assistance of the Cowichan Land Trust, a new Streamkeepers group is forming to restore Garnett Creek and increase habitat for salmon and cutthroat trout. Slopes along the banks must be stabilized to reduce erosion. Log jams must be cleared and native plants added to the banks. Gravel used by spawning fish needs enhancement. Plus, new signage will increase awareness of this
Local artist Rod Carswell is painting a mural to raise awareness about local eelgrass meadows, sponsored by the Cowichan Land Trust. It will be shown at the Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre. See page 2 for more information.
Know Your Waterfowl
In the last Steward, we accidentally printed a picture of a Mute Swan in our migratory waterfowl section. The problem was: Mute Swans don’t migrate. Part of educating people about local waterfowl has to cover even these basic facts. Only some of the waterfowl living in the Cowichan Valley are migratory. Do you know which ones live here year-round and which only stop in for the winter? See page 3 for answers.
Greater White-Fronted Goose
Tundra Swan
Mute Swan
To find out about future streamkeeping events or any other Cowichan Land Trust news, visit our website:
Canada Goose Cackling Goose Trumpeter Swan
The Steward
Spring 2010
Spreading Awareness About Eelgrass
Increased public awareness of eelgrass habitats in Cowichan Bay and Maple Bay will be part of our Eelgrass Restoration Project’s legacy as it ends in March. Local artist Rod Carswell is creating a beautiful mural in Cowichan Bay showing off the nearby eelgrass habitat. The Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre has offered a site on its pier to display the 3-foot by 9-foot piece of art. Look for it to be completed later this spring. The Cowichan Land Trust is also making educational signage for Maple Bay Marina. It will explain the vital role eelgrass plays in the ecosystem, how local meadows are being affected and how people can help protect them. Maple Bay Marina will install the sign and include information about their environmental practices, which have earned them a “Green Marina” distinction. Along with the restoration work done last summer and our ongoing mapping of local eelgrass beds, we believe this project has made a significant positive impact on this important part of the Cowichan Valley’s ecosystem. It is–especially for those of us who have a heightened interest in nature immediately outside our door–springtime and the beginning of another year. Perhaps now, the best way to remind yourself why our participation in the Land Trust is important is to stop doing Message all those other important or from the demanding or just routine President things that take up so much Jim Ayers of our time. Instead, go for a walk in some favorite place or to some nearby special place you’ve heard of but haven’t yet explored. Enjoy, relax and when you return consider calling the Land Trust office or one of the board members to ask what you can do, in a very specific way, to help preserve the natural beauty of this place for generations to come. Sunday, I am going to go find that stand of big, old fir trees on the Koksilah River–the ones the loggers refused to cut down. I will listen to the birds and the river and the stillness. I’ll do it early in the morning when the sunlight and shadows contrast strongly, and I will try to feel, if not understand, what that place and those trees meant to men who put their jobs on the line because they judged, “This should be preserved.” If it’s not raining, I’ll have tea, a sandwich and a nap with a root of one of those big old trees for a headrest.
Saturday, March 27 Learn Eelgrass Mapping Techniques Come out if you want to learn about mapping eelgrass meadows. Workshop happening on March 27th from 9am-12pm at the Island Savings Centre. Please RSVP to Early May Eelgrass Mapping We need volunteers to come out and help us map the eelgrass beds at either Kin Beach or Cherry Point. Exact date will be posted at We recommend volunteers attend at least one mapping workshop, such as the March one above.
The Steward The Steward
Spring 2010 Spring 2010
Know Your Waterfowl
Mute Swans and Canada Geese are the only two of the six waterfowl depicted (see page 1) that don’t necessarily migrate. In recent years, a non-migratory Canada Goose population has developed in the Cowichan Valley,. The fast growth of these new residents is a concern for many Cowichanians. Some worry our presently small Mute Swan population may follow a similar pattern. The Land Trust is investigating the problem through a series of consultations and public meetings with the goal of developing an action plan that presents solutions.
Monday, March 15 – 7pm to 9pm Waterfowl Forum
Freshwater EcoCentre, 1080 Wharncliffe Road, Duncan
Add your voice to a discussion on regional problems with waterfowl. We’ll focus on two key issues: 1) Loss of habitat and concentration of migratory waterfowl on agricultural land 2) Sanitary concerns about resident, non-migratory Canada Geese Bring your ideas and experiences to the table and help us create an action plan that works.
Cowichan Land Trust T-Shirts are Available!
• Available in the colours white, black, chocolate, olive, light blue, dark green • Available in men’s and women’s sizing • GREAT LOW PRICE OF $20! Call the Land Trust today or drop in to pick up this hot new item for your wardrobe and help support the Land Trust
Cowichan… It’s worth protecting.
The Steward
Spring 2010
Our Community Green Map is now totally interactive. Powered by an enhanced version of Google Maps and hosted in partnership with UVIC, the online map uses satellite images of the Cowichan Valley. The map is then overlaid with icons showing the places we identified with assistance from the community throughout 2009. There are hiking trails, salmon habitats, bird-watching areas, historical farms and more! Having a satellite view means you can zoom in on certain areas, get more detailed directions to sites and have fun exploring the area with a bird’s eye view. Clicking on a site pops up a detailed description, a photo plus information about its location. With the online map, you can also display certain types of locations only. Want a map that just shows local swimming spots or community gardens? Just visit the website and make a map tailored to your desires. We believe the web map is a perfect complement for the beautiful print map we released last fall. Combined, they really testify to our theme that we are all connected to this land, the people and the food. When we value the land, we will take care of it and it will take care of us. See the map for yourself at
The CLT website has a new and improved design that allows us to really show off the quantity and quality of resources we offer to Cowichan residents. You’ll notice right away that the new design is a much more visual experience. A slideshow of Cowichan natural scenery greets visitors to the site with everything set against various picturesque Valley backdrops. Visit our News page to learn about CLT workshops and events. Every current and past CLT project has its own section on the site, accessible from the main Projects page. Within each, you’ll be able to view pictures, learn about the CLT’s work and access documents produced by the projects. Our Resources section includes a wealth of information about topics such as estuary management, invasive plants and animals, property tax assessment and helpful conservation tools. The website remains a crucial means of fundraising as well. We’re able to accept online donations in any amount and you can sign up for a membership online or schedule regular donations, too. Just click on the How You Can Help link from any page on the site. Browse the site now at
MEMBERSHIP in the CLT is an important contribution to our
continued presence in the Cowichan Valley and makes it possible for us to continue our work to conserve our natural heritage. Thank you to our members, volunteers and Directors for your support.
To become a member of the Cowichan Land Trust or make a donation, please contact the office at 250-746-0227, use the attached form or visit our website at to schedule regular donations
The Cowichan Land Trust thanks our current funders!
Cowichan Community Land Trust Society If you would like to become a member of the Cowichan Community Land Trust Society, and/or would like to make a donation, please print and complete this form and send it along with your cheque or money order to the address below. Charitable Tax receipts are issued for all donations. We greatly appreciate your support! Our Charitable Registration Number is 1042654-52 Name: Address: City: Postal Country: Telephone: E-mail: Your Interests: Province/State: Code/ZIP:

I would like to support the work of the Cowichan Community Land Trust Society: Memberships: ____ $5.00/year for people under 19 ____ $20.00/year for adults and families ____ $20.00-$100.00/year for other non-profit organizations ____ $100.00/year for business (members will be recognized in our newsletters and at our AGM) ____ $1000.00/year to be a Sponsor (Sponsor’s names and/or logos will appear on our literature and be posted at our office) Donations: ____$25 ____$50 ____$100 ____$500 ______Other ____Cheque ____Money Order Signature: ____________________________________________ Please make cheque or money order payable to “Cowichan Community Land Trust Society”
Cowichan Community Land Trust Society #6 – 55 Station Street Duncan, British Columbia, Canada V9L 1M2