Thursday Mar 12, 2020

Chuck Venhuizen

Mount Gardner Trails

The wicked winter winds of the 2012–2013 season blew down many trees that blocked some of the key trails on Mount Gardner’s crown land. Chuck Venhuizen contacted the Province’s agency responsible for the trails and as a result, a team of 5 forest fire fighters arrived to clear the trails. Chuck and Rotarian Robert Ballantyne acted as mountain guides for the foresters.

In 2013–2014 Rotarians Denis Lynn and Robert Ballantyne performed a detailed survey of the 20+ kilometers of good hiking trails on Mount Gardner. This including making an accurate map using GPS. This was followed by a long negotiation with the Province to secure recognition under section 56 under the Forest and Range Act for the entire polygon of crown lands of Mount Gardner. At the same time, Bowen Islanders were becoming more interested in the great value of these trails. A new organization, The Bowen Island Trails Society (BITS) arose. Ultimately Rotary decided that it had done its work to bring attention and protection for the trails, and  BITS had a membership of fit and motivated members who who were more capable than Rotary to carry out the upgrading and maintenance of the trails.

Chuck was a board member of BITS and a chief negotiator who facilitated the complex business of securing the agreement with the province for maintaining the trails. Today, there are several organizations with a strong interest in those trails. Also the wayfinding infrastructure is being substantially upgraded.

In his presentation to The Rotary Club of Bowen Island, Chuck will describe the current activities and talk about the future of those trails. He will also announce the proposal of a new trail to be named in honour of the late Denis Lynn for his tireless initial work both on the hill and in negotiating the details of the agreement with the Province.

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