|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!