I enjoy pretty much everything there is that has to do with the outdoors. Some of my most peaceful moments have been while walking through the forest, sitting on a beach, or boating (minus the loud engine). Accordingly I have a great respect for nature and enjoy learning about the plants and wildlife therein. My plan is to continue that learning process and hopefully enhance it by sharing what I learn. I intend for this blog to serve many purposes, but in the immediate future it will be a place for me, and hopefully others, to share ideas about reducing our individual impact on this planet, protecting wild spaces, and in general just to comment on the things we enjoy most in the great outdoors. I welcome all opinions as otherwise you cannot consider every aspect of a subject. However, I would ask that every opinion be expressed in a respectful way and considered with an open mind. Often there is no single right answer. Thanks.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Mt. Doug - I might finally make a work party!

I decided to head out for a walk yesterday and since neither of my kids were interested I had the luxury of going where I wanted, at my own pace.  Plus I did not have a running commentary of "I'm tired", "My legs are sore", "When is the downhill part?"...  I do love taking them with me, but sometimes it is nice to actually enjoy the silence.

We are fortunate to live only about a ten minute walk from Mt. Doug park, so that is often my destination of choice.  The network of trails is lengthy and I am sure I have only explored half of it - maybe less.  I made the mistake of exploring a different way down from the top with my kids last year.  I thought it was great fun until it took a little longer than anticipated to get back to the parking lot.  We were heading in the general direction of the parking lot, but there seems to be many trail options in certain areas and as you would expect most trails do not run exactly straight.  We certainly got more of a walk than we bargained for and they kept asking if we were lost.  I am a little more conservative in my trail choices now :)

On several occasions over the last couple of years I have seen one person, or small groups, hard at work removing ivy and/or holly from different sections of the park.  I stopped and had a chat with someone last summer about the work he was doing.  If I remember correctly they have divided the park into sections and are methodically moving through each section removing holly and, of course, ivy.  Right now you can see large piles of pulled ivy along one of the main trails.  If it were not for dedicated volunteers much more of the park would look like the area I walked by yesterday near the Glendenning entrance to the park.  The ground is a shallow sea of ivy and on nearly every tree you can see the vine travelling higher and higher up the tree trunk.  As you can imagine there is not much else to see but ivy in these areas.

I have had wonderful intentions to join one of the work party's put on by the Friends of Mt. Doug Park Society.  So far my intentions have fallen flat and I have not made it to any.  However, I visited the website again yesterday and there is another work party this Thursday from 10:00 to 12:00.  So, I have it down on my calendar and, as long as noone else in my house starts vomiting like my daughter was this past Thursday evening, I should be good to go.  It will be a great excuse to get outside, get some exercise and do something useful at the same time.

For anyone who is interested in learning more about invasive plants in Southwestern BC I found this great link today http://www.shim.bc.ca/invasivespecies/Title.htm.  Also, the Mount Douglas Park Society has an informative website with dates of work parties, newsletters, and maps of the park.

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