Wolverine Nordic and Mountain Society
The hiking trails at the Bullmoose Marshes Wetland Interpretive Area are set for major upgrades in 2013. The initial trails were built by the Wolverine Nordic and Mountain Society (WNMS) in 2002. In 2012 BC Walking Challenge funds were used to construct a 36-inch-wide boardwalk along the entire length of the Sora Trail. These improvements were widely acclaimed, and have improved a peaceful, scenic area with lots of wildlife for many to enjoy, including seniors.
The goal for 2013 is to boardwalk a similar length on the Bittern Trail, and to further enhance the area, which is situated 25 kms from Tumbler Ridge close to the highway to Chetwynd. On May 9th a large group of interested parties enjoyed a site visit to the trails and developed a plan for the summer project.
The amount of interest and support was remarkable:
• Frank Walsh and Darryl Krakowka kicked the project off with a $1500 donation from the Lions Club to WNMS.
• Recreation Officer for the region, Tim Bennett, should be able to allocate funds for labour.
• Ducks Unlimited is keen to partner in the project (thanks to Glenn Steele for helping facilitate this partnership).
• Darryl Kroeker, Head of Conservation Programs for the BC Peace, pledged funds for lumber supplies and in-kind labour support.
• Marsha Dufresne will continue leading the Junior Rangers to enhance the site, such as building and installing nest boxes.
• Doug Foerster is interested in constructing a memorial table, bench and barbeque area near the trailhead.
• The Museum Foundation is interested in redeveloping educational camps at Bullmoose Marshes.
• WNMS will be able to devote some of the remaining BC Walking Challenge funds to this project.
• The Mayor’s Task Force on Seniors’ Needs was represented by Dave Price, with interest in the project because of its value in creating an accessible destination and attraction for seniors.
The plan is to get the work started as soon as possible, within weeks, once supplies have been purchased.
As a bonus, for the first time a Canada Goose is nesting on “Baker’s Island”, the floating structure visible from the end of the Sora Trail boardwalk. This was installed with the help of Ducks Unlimited in 2005 and named after Brian Baker, who spearheaded the building of the initial trails.
In future years, there is abundant potential to further enhance this area – more benches, signage, wildlife-viewing blinds etc. Enhancing this area may have a ripple beneficial effect in many ways for the community and the region, including strengthening Tumbler Ridge’s bid for Global Geopark status.
The birds are arriving, and the frogs and snakes are waking up, making the next few weeks an ideal time for anyone to visit the Bullmoose Marshes and see this area and project for themselves. Early mornings and late evenings are generally the best times.