Thursday, January 24, 2013

Twenty-Five Walk on Gabriola - Coats Marsh Regional Park

One of the walks in the 25 walks on Gabriola Brochure that Gabriola Land and Trails Trust published (GALLT)
Coats Marsh, Gabriola Island

Last year the Gabriola Land and Trails Trust published a brochure with 25 walk on Gabriola.  We're aiming to do all 25 and share our experiences with you this year, here's the second one we've done.

In the Gabriola Elementary School the students have been given a topic that they will study throughout their years in school.  My daughter has ponds/lakes as her topic and my son has reptiles, they can explore any aspect of these topics that they want and the idea is that they learn about it in depth (LID).
I decided for this weeks walk that we should go and explore the Coats Marsh Regional Park (walk #11 in the brochure) as I thought it might help them generate some ideas that they might want to explore in their research.

We turned onto Coats Rd from South Road, and after about 1km we turned left onto Stanley Rd.  We parked at the end of Stanley (a very short rd) and found the trail head.  We were wearing our gumboots, came with our paper and pencils and we were almost dressed warm enough!  It's a very short easy 5 minute walk from the parking area to the marsh, where we were all awe struck.  In a quiet setting with no houses in site, we found an expansive marsh, about 20 beautiful white trumpet swans and the sounds and calls of nature.  

We had to stop several times on our exploration of the marsh, not because it was a difficult walk, but because the kids had found one more thing they had seen, wanted to research, or wanted to remember, and they needed to make a note of it.  After a bit of exploring, my son pointed out the Beaver dam across the marsh.  With a little more exploration we saw the trees that the beaver had been busy chomping down, and the pathways from the marsh to the trees.  

We spent about an hour on our walk, and we all decided it was one of the best walks we've gone on, but with the night setting in we had to call it a night and promises were made to return their soon, with our gumboots on and our notepads in hand!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Anti bullying on Gabriola - Thanks to the BCTF

The Gabriola Elementary School PAC has organized a presentation on Anti bullying through the BC Teachers Federation.  Benula Larsen will give a one hour presentation free of charge and allow parents to learn strategies, gain knowledge and share concerns.  Benula is a practising teacher who is volunteering to share her knowledge and experience in these areas.

This presentation will take place on Wed, Jan 23 in the Gabriola Elementary School Library from 6-7pm.  

Here's a bit of information on anti bullying from the BCTF website: 

Anti bullying
Bullying behaviours are no longer acceptable in our society and schools are attempting to do something about them.  This introductory session on anti bullying will include: the definition, the bullying triad, the cycle of bullying, and the signs to watch for if your child is being bullied.  Participants will also learn and share strategies for bully proofing children.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Twenty Five Walks on Gabriola - Sandwell Park

Gabriola, Beach, Walks on Gabriola, Lynch's
Sandwell Park, Gabriola Island

The Gabriola Land and Trails Trust published a great brochure with 25 walks on Gabriola.  We're going to try and do the 25 walks listed this year and share them you.
Over the holidays we took the kids to Sandwell Park (walk #15 in the brochure), a beautiful sand and pebble bay on Gabriola.  To get to the parking lot, you drive to the end of the Strand.  You'll see a yellow gate and a wide path, a 5-10 minute walk gets you to the bay, there is a steep part so watch your footing.  At the bay there are outhouses and an expanse of beach and driftwood lies before you.
It took us about an hour with kids in tow to walk down the path and along the beach, of course we stopped and beachcombed along the way.  There are some beautiful clear winter days when you can see down to Mt. Baker, we were lucky that this was one of those days.