LSNT volunteers continued trail development & maintenance efforts. Work carried out by members of the Shoelace Club and the Lambton Outdoor Club (LOC) and the acquisition of a Stihl weedwacker were of tremendous help in 2018
Trail Clearance & Upgrade: The full length of the Ausable River Valley Trail (except for a very small stretch), the Mystery Falls Trail Loop and all the trails in the Port Franks & Northville area were cleared – an additional gully bridge & rock-filled stepping baskets were installed on the west leg of the Mystery Falls Trail Loop
Blazing: The access trail at Macdonald Dr., a 2 km short-cut in the Ausable River Valley north of MacDonald Dr and the last section of the ‘Northridge Connector’ along the Port Franks Rd were blazed and all three trails in the Lambton County Heritage Forest were re-blazed
Trail Signage: -Approx. 20 on-trail signs fabricated by local high school students were mounted at various locations - trailhead head map signs were refurbished in the Ausable River Cut CA & the ‘L’ Lake Management Area - a new trailhead map sign was installed at the Mystery Falls Trail Loop and the Forested Dunes Trail
Trailhead Log-Pavilion Projects: The Forest Trailhead Log-Pavilion project is complete. Its features include the following: Landscaping with native shrubs, wildflowers and natural boulders - large side-panels with Trail Map, the History of Forest, the Natural Heritage of the area, a Donor Recognition Tree and Native Artwork by local artist Red Dog – Spirit Rocks painted by elementary school children - A green steel roof donated by the Rona Building Centre in Forest. - The Port Franks log structure has been installed, painted and fitted with a green steel roof donate by Home Hardware of Grand Bend - the landscaping is mostly complete and side panels similar to those on the Forest structure will be added in the spring
Port Franks ’Green Tunnel’: New mulch was applied to all 100 trees - the trees were watered twice in the summer and an 18-post Story-Walk was installed along the ‘Green Tunnel’ path
Role Assignments ‘Role Assignments’ for members of the LSNT Board of Directors Committee Members was initiated in an effort to distribute the workload - also preparations of ‘Job Descriptions ‘ were started - both need further work
LSNT COMMUNITY OUTREACH:
Kineto: In March LSNT showed a LSNT promotional video and the movie ‘Long Start to the Journey‘ at the Kineto Theater in Forest. The movie featured a hiker and the challenges he faced on the Appalachian Trail
Trail Hikes: Conducted a spring-hike for local high school students - Combined forces with the Thames Talbot Land Trust for a May-hike in Joany’s Woods - Native artist Red Dog & LSNT Volunteers conducted a Mystery Falls Hike complete with a Pipe Ceremony - Throughout the summer LSNT led trail hikes organized by the local Health Centres
Arts & Nature Camp: Participated for two days at the ‘Summer Arts & Nature Youth Camp’ hosted by the Ausable Port Franks Optimist Club by conducting hikes and teaching camping skills
Trail Maps: Issued an updated tri-fold trail map and collaborated with the Grand Bend Chamber of Commerce to issue an updated map of all the hiking trails in Lambton Shores & Vicinity. The map is an insert in the Grand Bend Summer Tourist Guide - LSNT received 500 trail maps for distribution
Trail Patch Program: The ‘Free Award Badge Program’ was launched to encourage hikers of all ages to hike all LSNT-maintained trails in Lambton Shores & Vicinity - a hiker completing all trails and a questionnaire receives a patch.
Adopt-a-Road: Conducted a cleanup of the 5.5 km stretch of Bog Line (from Hwy 79 to the Ausable River bridge) in October as part of the Lambton County Adopt-a-Road program
LSNT Displays: In April LSNT manned a display table at the Open House jointly hosted by the Municipality of Lambton Shores & the Kettle Point First Nation.- In December LSNT manned a display at the ‘Marketplace in the Port’ event
Phragmites Control Experiment: Established 3 10’x10 phragmites test sites at Mud Creek in the Forested Dunes Nature Reserve. Husks of walnuts are repeatedly applied to determine if the toxins leaching from these husks are effective in controlling the spread of phragmites
Association with other Community Groups: Two LSNT Board members participated in the working group of the ‘Collective Impact - Connected Rural Communities Collaborative’ hosted by the Grand Bend Area Health Centre - One LSNT Board member acted as the liaison to the Lakeshore Eco-Network (LEN) which focuses on environmental education and area re-foresting - In August four LSNT Volunteers assisted with of weeding the Native Garden at the Grand Bend Klondyke Soccer Fields in 2017
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Partnered with a number of local Landowners of Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESA's), the local Council & Staff, local Community Service Groups and donors
Constructed and/or upgrade trails, installed trail signage & painted blazes, and re-naturalized damaged areas in our 'Gems of Nature'. Built substantial trail infrastructure including ATV barriers, board-walks, benches, wheelchair-accessible lookout deck, floating dock for canoes & kayaks, small bridges over gullies, ladder on steep embankment. Included are: ABCA's 'L' Lake Management Area in Port Franks, the Ausable River Cut Conservation Area in Northville, the Lambton County Heritage Forest in Port Franks, 'Hidden Valley' in the Ausable River Valley, the Ipperwash Dunes & Swales Forest, and ABCA's Mystery Falls Property in the Ausable River Valley near Arkona
Made the 'Stepping into Spring Fundraiser Dance' and the 'Mayor's Hike' annual LSNT Signature Events' in 2012, 2013 & 2014
Created an extensive public awareness of the critical need to protect & preserve our remaining 'Gems of Nature' through public meetings, newspaper articles, presentations to community groups, tireless networking, a LSNT brochure, the LSNT website, guided hikes, insert in LS Leisure Guide, etc.
In all, LSNT has blazed and now maintains 30 km of nature trails on over 1200 acres of the environmentally most sensitive lands in Lambton Shores & Vicinity beyond the confines of our treasured Pinery Provincial Park and ABCA's Rock Glen Conservation Area