Summer 2007 Acorn Newsletter - Salt Spring Island Conservancy

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  • 8/8/2019 Summer 2007 Acorn Newsletter - Salt Spring Island Conservancy


    attention disorders and depression in children and howexposure to nature (even in city parks, gardens and vacantlots) may be the best cure.

    For me, the most memorable story that Richard Louvtold was about how he was asked to give a lecture to a highschool in a large city in the US. He arrived expecting to acehundreds o dgety, whispering teenagers who would barelytolerate his presentation. He was amazed when he spoke ortwo hours and the room was so silent that you could heara pin drop. Aterwards, he asked the biology teacher whoinvited him why he thought the students were so attentiveThe teacher said that it was because he gave them hope.

    The message o Mr. Louvs lecture was that we have buila civilization on ossil uels, coal and oil. We know that weare ast approaching the end o this civilization. He said thathis is a tremendous opportunity or every child because weneed to now build a new civilization; to invent and developnew orms o sustainable agriculture, power generationcommunity plans, transportation systems... and that thenext generation is the one who must do this. The childreno today will have jobs thatwe havent even heard oyet. But, Richard added,how will these children do

    this, this huge exciting tasko rebuilding a civilization,without a knowledge andconnection to the placewhere they live, to theirown ecosystems?

    So, at the Royal Roadsconerence, I was luckyenough to join 60 people:proessors rom UVIC,


    The Newsletter of the Salt Spring Island Conservancy Number 35, Summer 2007

    Last Child in the Woods

    Last month I attended a talk at the University o Victoria byRichard Louv who has written a book called Last Child inthe Woods, Saving Our Children rom Nature-Defcit Disorder.It was a thought provoking talk and I was lucky enough tobe invited to a conerence at Royal Roads University, overthe next two days, where 60 people discussed the questionHow do we better engage children with nature?

    Richard Louvs book is about how so many older people

    grew up exploring their natural environment unsupervised.Most people rom the Baby-Boom generation and older havestories to tell about exploring the ponds, seashore, orestsand elds around their homes and cottages. Stories aboutthe bonds made with riends, the risks taken and the thingslearned. It seems that because o many reasons, -- RichardLouv believes or the most part because o ear (o strangers,injury, litigation) -- the current generation o children aremissing out on this critical orm o play needed or healthyhuman development, time spent in nature. This bookbrings together the research on the growing trend o obesity, Continued on page 10

    Inside:Presidents Page .................2Directors Desk ..................3Events

    Calendar .........................7Event Notes ....................7

    FeaturesLand as Legacy ................4

    Inside SSICWhat Happened? ............8

    StewardshipProtect Your Land ...........9

    Essential Details ..............11

  • 8/8/2019 Summer 2007 Acorn Newsletter - Salt Spring Island Conservancy

    2/12 The Acorn - Newsletter o the Salt Spring Island Conservancy

    Someone amous said it or was made amous by saying it:The map is not the territory. The model is not the reality.

    A map made by the Islands Trust Fund this winter lieson my desk. Within the amiliar outline o Salt Spring Islandmost areas are the blank white o clueless paper, blurred grey

    by myriad sharp-shouldered lot lines. Where politics and lawhave set places apart rom the general run o human aairs,Protected Areas are emblazoned in colour. Community parksare soccer-jersey uchsia. Provincial parks are compromisegreen, Mt. Maxwell watershed land is casket purple. CRDregional parks are the hue o old-growth r.

    Under the bright veneer each Protected Area is dierentin the words dening purpose and guiding administration,in the orms o nature it includes, in priorities or use and instrength o protection. Provincial parks, or instance, whichmake up a good two-thirds o the coloured acreage, arecoloured alike. However, our blocks are Ecological Reserves,

    o-limits to almost everyone, while Ruckle Provincial Parkprotects picnics, sheep pastures and a orest recovering roma thorough thrashing.

    Community parks span the range rom soccer elds totiny remnant bits received in exchange or higher prots ordevelopers, to a valuable natural area nestled in a cluster oCrown and Conservancy lands.

    Little logic but a whole lot o historic opportunismexplains our collection o Protected Areas. Its an old storyin North America. Protecting places against the food tideo progress is an aterthought. Tides food low ground and

    leave the high, which is where parks mostly perch. Areasare Protected with unallocated tax dollars and philanthropy,both o which are somewhere other than rst in line.

    Opportunism? To one excessively attached to reason itmay leave a bad taste, but pursuers o causes who ignoreopportunities are, at the very least, stupid. I a pioneer armamily oers 1100 acres or a park, do you reuse becauseit isnt in the plan? I an owner calls with an invitation totalk about a 20-acre conservation covenant, do you say no?I Vancouver venture capital parachutes onto 2600 acres oorest and sets the public on re, do you, or dont you, ridethe wave and end up with a really big bunch o Protected (i

    partly scalped) Areas? You say yes! and let natures resilienceand your own later eorts ll in the orest and connect theblocks to make more eco-logic as time goes on.

    The uncoloured areas on the map on my desk arethe pool containing all that latent opportunity. Its a seao whimsy, or sure. Ocial Protected Areas have theirshortcomings, mostly errors o omission, but the attitudesand programs that protect them are relatively stable. Privatestewardship, by contrast, can be rock-solid or years, thenchange overnight. The old olks love the home place, kidshave other interests, parents die, kids sell. Or: youngsters

    leave home, hoping to come back, but a postcard announcesthat Mom and Dad met with a realtor. They bought an RVand are parked in Quartzite, AZ playing checkers in a grittywind and going to unerals or a chance to dress up.

    The reverse happens, too. An owner tough on nature

    moves to Surrey; the new owners are itching to spend savingsrestoring the land.

    The condition o nature on these thousands o privateholdings spans the imaginable range plus one. Samplingthem is like dipping a spoon into a mulligan. One dip revealsdisaster, an uncaring owner abusing vulnerable land. Thenext suraces a pearl, a nature-gited landscape whose ownerslove it. Mostly what you get is average-palatable turnips, landthat is a pretty good home or people and whatever orms onature get along there. Lorquins Admirals. Coopers hawksBanana slugs. Trees tattooed by sapsuckers.

    Our little arm is somewhere in that common range. One

    acre o 16 is smothered by buildings and driveway. An acre isa ormer gravel dump merciully hidden by a thorny hell owild rose and blackberry, beloved by quail. A jewel o a pondcollects seepage at the start o a creek. Tonight the shoutingtree rogs rival the old Soviet Army Chorus and Band singingKalinka. The creek winds among mint and hardhack andloudly possessive wrens and yellowthroats. Plants who ownus control ve acres o orchard, lawn, fowering perennialsand edible garden. Hay rom some elds sweetly scents ourbarn, a donkey paddock, and the orchard again, in sequence A copse o rs stacks carbon in 80-oot-high vaults. It

    unspectacular but we love it. Take care o it as best we can,not wrenching it out o shape, letting time and nature mostlyalone. We stick to basics: let it be diverse, keep it greenlycovered, dont poison it.

    As I said, private lands are the pool rom which utureProtected Areas will be drawn. I hope we are proactiveopportunists, spreading the word about land gits, covenantsReady when lightning fickers. The Islands Trust Fundcalculates that 18.6% o the Island is in Protected Areastoday. (They include community parks and Ruckle armlandwhich are doubtully protected or doubtully natural.) Iremaining Crown lands were designated or protection the

    total would be about 23%. I, as well, we were able to securenow-vulnerable sensitive ecosystems (also mapped) thagure would rise to 30% or more. Its a good goal.

    While we work on that we need to be energetic inour programs to upgrade stewardship on all private lands You cant buy the Island. Ill wager that eective peddlingo the message o skilled care will make nature saer andmore diverse in the long run than costly, come-by-chanceadditions to Protected Areas.

    Its not the map that matters, its the territory. Bob Weeden

    The Map Is Not the Territory

    Presidents Page

  • 8/8/2019 Summer 2007 Acorn Newsletter - Salt Spring Island Conservancy

    3/12 Summer 2007

    Eco-Home Tour Volunteers NeededLast summer, the second annual Salt Spring Eco-HomeTour was a huge success when 600 residents and visitorsparticipated in tours to 10 Eco-Homes led by the homeowners/builders. This tour could not be possible without theoverwhelming support o the dozens o volunteers who help

    each year. Volunteers spend a hal day with a partner assistinghomeowners with parking, checking tickets, passing outhome inormation sheets, and giving general inormation onthe tour, maps, and Salt Spring! We have a great volunteertraining party beore the tour, and every volunteer receives aticket to tour the homes or the hal o the day that they arenot volunteering. Please let Karen know i you are interestedat the Salt Spring Island Conservancy oce: 538-0318, orby email: [email protected]

    Sunday, June 17, 10am 4pm

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