Official blog of the Land Trust Alliance of BC
A jewel of the Cowichan Valley is the Somenos Marsh and is a focus for valley residents and tourists alike. The marsh has been designated as an Important Bird Area (IBA) and in the autumn of each year the return of the Trumpeter Swan is anticipated by the community. It heralds a month long celebration of Somenos Marsh and all it has to offer to us in ecological and conservation benefits. The Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society with its partners the Cowichan Naturalists and Cowichan Valley Docents will lead tours through the Timbercrest Garry Oaks. The Cowichan Land Trust will be hosting visitors at the Nature Centre on the Cowichan Estuary at their viewing tower. SMWS has shepherded development in the marsh by providing a boardwalk with its open air classroom and is marking its 25th anniversary with a fund raising drive for a new viewing tower.
The 3rd annual WildWings Featival kicks off the evening of October 9th at the Craig Street Pub with entertainment, Marsh T-Shirts, and the release of the annual WildWings beer! The highlight will be the unveiling of Glenn Spicer's stained glass piece as this year's Artist of the Somenos. The following week the WildWings Art Exhibition opens at Just Jake's with cocktails and auction as part of the Red Umbrella celebration of the arts on Thursday night. The exhibit runs for a month.
On Saturday, October 25, Celebrate Somenos will feature family activities at the Somenos Open Air Classroom and the Cowichan Estuary. Hot chocolate and activities under tents, with educators, artists, musicians and naturalists at the viewing stations on the boardwalk. Naturalists will lead nature tours at the Somenos Garry Oaks and the estuary will also have activities as described above.
WildWings wraps up on Friday November 14 at the Cowichan Theatre with a benefit concert featuring Holly Arntzen and the Wilds, a musical group that uses music to educate about nature. They will be backed up by the Alexander School choir performing songs that Holly and crew have taught them.
A grand time is offered to all in the Cowichan Valley during WildWings with a wide assortment of activities and celebrations welcoming back the Trumpeter Swans to the Somenos! For more details please visit here.
The enews is produced at the beginning of every month and includes conservation news from us and our members, educational opportunities, event listing and funding information. To ensure that you don't miss an issue, sign up on our homepage www.ltabc.ca
In May, LTABC was lucky enough to join Habitat Acquisition Trust (HAT) and the Pender Island Conservancy Association (PICA) on a day trip to Brooks Point on Pender Island. The many years of fundraising for Brooks Point Regional Park were recently completed with the acquisition of the last piece of land that joins Brooks Point and Gowlland Point. You can read more about Brooks Point here. Thanks to Paul Petrie and Jill Ilsley from PICA for giving us the tour and HAT for sorting out the details.
A highlight of the trip was viewing the expanse of chocolate lillies and other wildflowers in this rare ecosystem. Below are some images from the day.
chocolate lillies, camas and death camas (poisonous)
beautiful chocolate lilliesContinue reading