Activities and issues

At almost any time during each year we have multiple activities going on. As well, there are various issues that we are either involved in, or monitor since they affect us on Bowen Island.

Marine Atlas Project

The Bowen Island Conservancy and its partners launched a project in January 2019 to publish, by mid 2020, a Bowen/Nexwlélexm Marine Conservation Atlas to foster public awareness of, and engagement in, local marine conservation issues, and to celebrate the recovery of our marine neighbourhood. We’ve launched this project because, though we’re an island community defined by the waters that surround us, to date there has been no such telling of our marine story.

There are many ways for you to help with this project; it’s a community initiative.

— Go to the top of the page —

Nature Reserve Management

We manage Nature Reserves on the Island. We conduct improvement and restoration activities, including maintaining and upgrading trails and planting new trees where appropriate. We also monitor the Nature Reserves to ensure that they remain undisturbed and that the ongoing health of the local eco-system is maintained.

Two Nature Reserves that we currently manage are Singing Woods and Fairy Fen.

If you take your dog to a Nature Reserve

We welcome visitors and their four-legged friends in the Nature Reserves on Bowen Island.

At the same time, we want all of our visitors to enjoy themselves as much as possible when they are in our beautiful natural areas. We hope and expect that dog owners will maintain control over their dogs at all times, and keep them in view. One of our Board members has been bitten by an off-leash dog in Singing Woods, and jumped upon by an off-leash dog on the way to Fairy Fen. We do not wish to see this kind of occurrence in the future.

— Go to the top of the page —

Speaker Series

Each year we put together a “Speaker Series” where we arrange presentations on a variety of conservation-related topics, featuring informative speakers from on and off the Island. These sessions are very well-attended and generally run from September to April each year.

Our past presentations include:

— Go to the top of the page —

Public events

We periodically hold public events such as our outing to Apodaca Provincial Park in September 2012.

— Go to the top of the page —

Work parties, trail building, and rehabilitation work

Making selected wild areas accessible enough so that people can experience them and learn about unique Bowen eco-systems is a hands-on task often involving tools and perspiration! Periodic maintenance is a must. We welcome volunteers for any and all of these projects! We will post information related to work parties as they arise.

Conservation Covenants

We are sometimes involved with establishing Conservation Covenants to protect the natural environment of the Island. A Conservation Covenant is a voluntary agreement to conserve land or special nature features. It represents an agreement between a land owner and another organization or group of organizations that act on behalf of the community. We are able to provide advice and insight into the process of placing a Covenant, and we usually involve the Islands Trust Fund in the process. Some lands may be available for hiking or personal enjoyment, while other lands may need to be protected in order to preserve their unique features.

— Go to the top of the page —

BC Timber Sales and logging on Bowen Island

To our dismay, we learned in early July 2017 that the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO) had decided to pursue industrial logging of five areas in the Crown Lands on Bowen Island. A BC Timber Sales (BCTS is an organization within the Ministry) Planning Forester, Enrique Sanchez, wrote to Mayor and Council outlining the “opportunity” to develop (i.e. to log) these areas.

Outrage in the community ensued and phone calls, letters, and emails protesting these plans were sent to multiple levels of government, including the Prime Minister of Canada. And we were all pleased to learn, on 26 July 2017, that BC Timber Sales had decided to drop Bowen Island from their current logging plans.

We created a section of our website to address this threat to our home.

— Go to the top of the page —

Bowen Island is part of the Whale Trail

In July 2017 Bowen Island became part of the Whale Trail. We are pleased to be part of this initiative, with the Bowen Nature Club, the Bowen Island Municipality, and the BC Cetacean Sightings Network.

— Go to the top of the page —

The Woodfibre LNG project

Woodfibre Natural Gas Ltd. has been given permission to build and operate a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant on the Woodfibre industrial site, near Squamish. The plant is projected to export 2.1 million tonnes of LNG per year (about 280 million cubic feet a day), for 25 years.

There is a great deal of concern in communities around Howe Sound about this project. […]

Read more about the Woodfibre LNG Project.

— Go to the top of the page —

Why do we care about herons?

Heron near the Bowen Island Causeway, 2013

The Great Blue Heron is a very large bird, growing to over one metre in height. It has blue-grey body feathers, a white head, a yellow bill and a black stripe above each eye. We have a number of heron nests on Bowen Island and it’s important that they be left alone and quiet. Great Blue Herons, their nests and their eggs, are all protected by the BC Wildlife Act, and by the federal Migratory Birds Convention Act. Their nest trees are also protected year round, on both public and private land. […]

Read more about herons.

Photo at right courtesy of Will Husby.

— Go to the top of the page —

Past projects

We were involved with:

  • The development of Headwaters Park, in 2009;
  • The building of the Quarry Park Stone Circle moss garden, in 2009
  • Forage Fish protection from 2014 to 2016: In 2014, Conservancy members formed an Island team to conduct periodic surveys of select Bowen beaches to test for forage fish eggs. This project continued until December 2016, when we turned over further sampling surveys to the Sea Watch Society. Up to the end of 2016 no eggs had been found. There are several possible explanations for this:
    • Forage fish do not spawn on Bowen Island beaches (and we don’t know why), or
    • We’ve been looking in the wrong places on the selected beaches, or
    • We’ve missed eggs during collection of samples, or
    • Something else.