Set for Jan. 26, third annual winter woodlot tour bigger and better
© Guardian photo by Sally Cole
Organizers inspect the site of the third annual Winter Woodlot Tour in Ebenezer. The event will take place Jan. 26 from 9 a.m.- 1 p.m. From left is Stephen Lowe, WRIG treasurer; Chris Newell, event coordinator: Stewart MacRae, landowner and Steve DeWolfe, P.E.I. Model Forest Network Partnership.
For city dwellers, getting to take a walk in the woods or listen to the sound of a bubbling brook is a welcomed respite from everyday life.
Even if only for a few hours.
Prince Edward Islanders will get a chance to do both in a big way during the third annual Winter Woodlot Tour in Ebenezer.
Hosted by the Wheatley River Improvement Group (WRIG), the Model Forest Network Partnership and the Hunter-Clyde Watershed Group, the event will take place Jan. 26 at 501 Millboro Rd., Route 243, just off Highway 2, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
"It's a fantastic opportunity for people to get out and explore nature," says event co-ordinator Chris Newell, adding the event has two goals.
The first is to raise consciousness about ecology.
"We want to raise awareness about the natural resources that people might have on their property that they are not adequately using or taking care of," says Newell.
The second is to celebrate the season.
"There is so much to do during the winter. And there's so much wildlife that you can see. Besides all the birds, you can still see skunks, raccoons and rabbits. And, of course, foxes and coyotes are always around," he says.
As part of the day, a wildlife display will be set up and a falconer will be on site to give a demonstration.
"People will also learn how to identify animal tracks," he says.
WRIG treasurer Steven Lowe says his organization is pleased to support this important community event.
"We're very much involved in the management of the watershed, the natural habitat and various other things. But one of the main challenges is getting the community involved, getting them to feel a commitment, investment in what we do," says Lowe.
Third annual Winter Woodlot Tour 501 Millboro Rd., Rt. 243, Ebenezer, just off Highway 2. Families and dogs are welcome. Hot cider will be served. Admission is free. For the snowshoeing activity, people are invited to bring their own equipment. For those who don't have snowshoes, some will be available on loan from program partner Go!P.E.I. Sponsors: The Wheatley River Improvement Group, P.E.I. Model Forest Network Partnership and Hunter-Clyde Watershed Group.
The event will unfold this way:
"The first thing people will notice (when they arrive) is a large tent set up at the site. It's heated so people can go inside and get warmed up if they feel chilly," says Newell.
After parking their cars in the large lot, visitors will follow a short path that will take them into the entrance of the woods and a walking trail.
When they reach a canopy of trees, they will catch a glimpse of a footbridge that will take them across the gurgling brook.
On the other side, one path will lead to a snowshoeing activity while the other will lead to a horse logging demonstration.
"Booths will be set up along the walking trail. So people will be able to stop and see what different people and organizations have to offer," says Newell.
For example, there will be a display of aerial photos from 1930 to the present day.
"It will give people a chance to see how the area has changed over the past 80 years."
There will also be presentation from Scouts Canada, who will have a winter survival site set up.
"This will be handy for people to know if they get stuck in the woods," he says.
Taking a break clearing the snow off the field adjacent to woodlot, the landowner says it's a natural thing to do.
"I've been involved with the local watershed group for a number of years. I attended the two previous events. One of the directors indicated that this might be a nice location. And I have no problem with it," says Stewart MacRae.