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2001 FOMIS Annual Report

The Friends of McNabs Island continued working on many ongoing projects throughout 2001. The Friends conducted a number of activities on McNabs Island as part of our environmental waste management and trail maintenance commitments to preserve and protect McNabs and Lawlor Islands Provincial Park and Fort McNab National Historic Site. Off the island, the Friends continued with education presentations, answering public inquiries and fundraising. Throughout 2001, the McNabs and Lawlor Islands Provincial Park Advisory Committee continued to meet to develop a management plan for the islands.

On Island Projects:

Beach Sweeps

For the first time in 10 years, the beach cleanup was rained out. Army cadets held a smaller cleanup of Ives Cove in the rain and collected 30 bags of garbage. On September 9, 2001, the fourth Annual Paddle and Cleanup, co-sponsored by Canoe Kayak Nova Scotia, was held. Paddlers collected 50 bags of garbage from around the islands. Since 1991, the Friends have collected over 6500 bags of garbage from the beaches on McNabs and Lawlor Islands.

Island Waste Management

Since 1994, the Friends of McNabs Island Society has had a volunteer agreement with the NS Department of Natural Resources and Parks Canada to maintain trails and outhouses on the island and to remove garbage and recyclables from the island during the summer months. With funding from the Summer Career Placement Program in 2001, summer students were able to take over many of the duties previously done by volunteers. Volunteers replaced the dilapidated outhouses at Mauger's Beach with new structures. The summer students painted all six outhouses on McNabs, and then cleaned and maintained the outhouses throughout the ten-week period of their employment. The students installed 14 drum-style garbage cans around the island and routinely collected the garbage and recyclables from the cans. The Department of Natural Resources caretaker transported garbage and recyclables to the mainland each week and deposited the garbage in a dumpster at the Shearwater Yacht Club. In total 70 bags of garbage and 55 bags of recyclables were collected over the ten-week summer period.

Trail, Fort and Cemetery Maintenance

The Friends volunteers continued with the trail maintenance project for McNabs Island, clearing away underbrush and windfalls from approved trails. Due to Worker's Compensation requirements, the summer students were not permitted to handle any trail clearing equipment. Volunteers continued to work on island trails throughout the fall of 2001. Trails within the boundary of Fort McNab NPS were also maintained. The McNabs Family Cemetery was maintained during the summer and fall of 2001. The barbed wire on the fence around the cemetery was realigned and the mesh panels reset. Anthills were levelled and the grass and brush was cleared. Brush and trees were cleared around the buildings at Fort McNab NHS. All "lexan" windows, previously smashed by vandals, were removed from their frames and taken off the island. Volunteers and the summer students were assisted by Department of Natural Resources' McNabs Island caretaker, Dave Seaboyer.

Other McNabs Island Events & Issues

In January 2001, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency cut and burned 131 trees on McNabs Island and 6 trees on Lawlor Island that were suspected of being infested with the European Brown Spruce Longhorn Beetle. Throughout the year, the CFIA continued to monitor the trees on the islands. On August 30th, the Friends of McNabs hosted the first visit to the island of Ernie Fage, Minister of Natural Resources. Ninety people attended our popular Fall Foliage tour, which featured a tour of the Conrad and Lynch houses, on October 14th. Again in 2001, the Maugers Beach lighthouse tour had to be cancelled due to mercury contamination that has not been cleaned up by Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans.

Other Off Island Activities

The Friends organized the third annual dinner and silent auction at Royal Artillery Park on February 17th. The event featured a slide presentation of McNabs and Lawlor Islands Park by Brian Kinsman, park planner for Natural Resources. The sold out event has become an annual fundraiser. The Friends Annual General Meeting was held on May 1st . Prof. Jim Morrison from Saint Mary's University and Dr. Ron McDonald from Parks Canada gave a presentation on the Oral History of McNabs Island. The Friends continued to respond to numerous requests for information about McNabs Island from universities, schools, youth groups, tourist operators and the public. On May 17th , the Friends gave a presentation on McNabs Island to the RCMP Veterans Women's Auxiliary. Later that year, Dr. Gene Jensen donated the Discover McNabs Island book to all schools in the Halifax Regional School Board. The McNabs and Lawlor Islands Provincial Park Advisory Committee met monthly throughout 2001 to develop a management plan for the new provincial park. In 2001, the society published two newsletters in February (Vol. 10 # 1) and October (Vol. 10 # 2).

Prepared by:

Catherine McCarthy
Friends of McNabs Island Society
May 2, 2002