"Volunteers are love in motion." -- Author Unknown
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Karen has been a volunteer with Lambton Shores Nature Trails since 2018. Her interest in helping with our trail work started when she moved into the neighbourhood where LSNT’s founders, Klaus Keunecke and Marilyn Keunecke-Smith, lived. When they learned that Karen had a passion for hiking, it seemed that joining LSNT was a natural fit.
Karen had often volunteered during her varied working career but, in her words, being a volunteer with LSNT is a “personal” experience. She likes “getting outside, getting her hands dirty and enjoying nature, while at the same time helping make the trails safe and usable for others to enjoy as well.”
Karen values her volunteer work as a priority in her life. An adventurous outdoorsperson, Karen recalls an occasion when the LSNT operations crew was closing off unmarked trails that were not sanctioned by landowners or maintained by LSNT. LSNT’s purpose was to encourage hikers to stay on the marked trails to reduce ecological fragmentation. However, Karen remembered thinking that it seemed contrary to what she would normally do while hiking! Working on the trails, including protecting our ‘Gems of Nature', offered a new perspective for Karen.
Karen's husband supports and encourages her volunteer efforts as he knows how much she enjoys the experience. She also knows how important volunteerism is to a community. Karen says, “There is just not enough funding to keep all the things we like to do up and running if not for people who volunteer. The work that is done just makes our trails even better. It is also a great way to meet new people with common interests.”
We could not agree more. Thank you, Karen, for all that you do for LSNT and your community.
A large contingent of volunteers came out on a beautiful, sunny November day to plant dune grass at the Ausable River Cut Conservation Area. The team made quick work of the dune grass planting; filling in gaps to help restore the landscape to its natural state.
In the spirit of the Grand Trunk Railway which once ran through the town of Forest, a “train birdhouse” has been installed along the Grand Trunk Trail. Designed and handcrafted by Lambton Shores Nature Trails board member Ross Atkinson with assistance from the NLSS Grade 11 Custom Woodworking class, the birdhouse is a great addition to the trail which follows the original rail bed to the west of the town. Thank you to Lee Main for helping with the installation and special thanks to Dean & Connie Percy for their generous donation to make this project possible!
In 2021, LSNT celebrated a decade of promoting, developing and maintaining the trails in Lambton Shores and vicinity. With the addition of several new board members in late 2022, we celebrated a renewed commitment to our vision and considered how we might utilize this injection of spirit!
Fran Kassies, our new Director for Publicity, built upon our 10-year logo to create a refreshed and energized version. Fran chose colours to represent the sky, water, land and pathways that we travel. She also kept the yellow-orange sun as our west coast sunsets are famous for their brilliant wash of colour over the lake. Thank you Fran!
The Huron St portage project at Mud Creek in Port Franks is now complete. A deck extension, ramp, floating dock and canoe/kayak launch has been installed; bringing to an end a project that started in 2021 with the clearing of vegetation and phragmites followed by the initial installation of the boardwalk and main deck in 2022. We would like to thank all the great volunteers who gave freely of their time! This is a welcomed addition to the community - giving easy access to Mud Creek for canoeists and kayakers.
We are pleased to announce the completion of the Ausable River Cut boardwalk. This project not only involved the building of the boardwalk but also the addition of a rope to section off the sensitive dune grass areas and a handrail along the elevated section. Thank you to all the volunteers along with the donors who helped make this project possible.
Thank you to all the vendors for participating in the Women and Wellness for Everyone event at the Port Franks Community Centre. LSNT board members Diane Smith and Fran Kassies met lots of great people; sharing trail maps, promotional items and selling memberships.
Ed Hunter and Diane Smith represented LSNT at the recent "New to Forest" event held at the Forest Legion. Thank you and welcome to all those who dropped by to say hello. See you on the trails!
In partnership with the Lambton Shores Phragmites Community Group, we installed two boot brush stands on the Woodland Heritage Trail behind the Lambton Heritage Museum. Boot brush stands help prevent the spread of invasive species by allowing hikers to brush their footwear before and after navigating the trail.
We are proud to announce the installation of our first Wind Phone at the Ausable River Cut Conservation Area. Thanks to the work of Ed Hunter, Ross Atkinson and Lee Main.
LSNT hosted a very informative seminar on the Habitat Stewardship Program in progress at the Pinery. Victoria Pepe, a research student from the Pinery, was the guest speaker. She spoke about threatened and endangered species in the area and how we can help preserve and improve the natural habitat for these species (red headed woodpecker, bank swallow, whippoorwill, and monarch butterfly). Thanks to the Ausable Port Franks Optimist Club for providing the meeting room and for The Friends of Pinery Park for partnering with us for this event.