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2002 FOMIS Annual Report

In 2002, McNabs and Lawlor Islands were designated as a provincial park. The Friends of McNabs Island continued working on many ongoing projects throughout the year. The Friends conducted a number of activities on McNabs Island as part of our trail maintenance and waste management 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. The McNabs and Lawlor Islands Provincial Park Advisory Committee developed a draft management plan for the islands that was released in August 2002.

On Island Projects:

Beach Sweeps

The McNabs Island Clean-up went ahead in spite of poor weather. 64 hardy volunteers managed to collect 160 bags of garbage and 20 bags of recyclables before getting soaked in a downpour. On September 14, 2002, the fifth 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 6,800 bags of garbage from the beaches of McNabs and Lawlor Islands.

Island Maintenance

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. Volunteers maintained the outhouses throughout the year, but stopped maintaining regular garbage and recyclable collection during the summer months. Visitors to the island are now encouraged to "pack-in, pack-out' their waste. Brush was cleared around Fort McNab NPS. The McNabs Family Cemetery was maintained during 2002. The barbed wire on the fence around the cemetery was realigned, and the grass and brush were cleared.

Other McNabs Island Events & Issues

On July 26, Carolyn Mont and Cathy McCarthy guided 20 teachers from the Social Studies Teachers' Association on a history tour of McNabs Island. On September 14, Carolyn and Cathy hosted Dalhousie University planning students on the island. Then on October 25, Carolyn and Cathy presented "McNabs Island the Outdoor Classroom" to teachers at their provincial fall conference. 150 people joined the Friends of McNabs Island Society for the annual Fall Foliage Tours of McNabs Island Provincial Park on October 20th. Tour guides Mike Crowell and Royce Walker lead the group on history and nature tours of the island. The tours included a walk-through of the historic houses on the island. The weather was windy, but perfect for a fall day on the island.

Other Off Island Activities

The Friends organized the fourth annual dinner and silent auction at Royal Artillery Park on February 22. The event featured a slide presentation of McNabs and Lawlor Islands Park's educational opportunities by Carolyn Mont and Cathy McCarthy. The sold out event has become an annual fundraiser. The Friends Annual General Meeting was held on May 2 and featured a presentation by Colin Stewart and Cathy McCarthy on the McNabs and Lawlor Island park plan. The Friends continued to respond to numerous requests for information about McNabs Island from universities, schools, youth groups, tourist operators and the public. The Friends re-designed and printed 10,000 copies of the map/brochure of McNabs Island, which is available to island visitors. The McNabs and Lawlor Islands Provincial Park Advisory Committee met monthly throughout 2002 to develop a management plan for the new provincial park. The draft plan was released on August 2 and public open houses were held in October. On November 4, Premier John Hamm and Natural Resources Minister Tim Olive announced the official designation of McNabs and Lawlor Islands as a provincial park. About 100 people attended the announcement held on a warm, breezy day at Fisherman's Cove in Eastern Passage. In 2002, the society published three newsletters in May (Vol.11 #1), September (Vol.11 #2) and December (Vol.11 # 3).

Prepared by:
Catherine McCarthy
Friends of McNabs Island Society
April 9, 2003