Treasure Chest Funds at Work in Our Community
Eight local St. Margaret’s Bay non-profit partner groups organize the weekly BTC 50/50 draw. The draw awards exciting prize money to the winning player and substantial funding for projects and services delivered by Treasure Chest partners.
Volunteers from BTC’s partner groups spend many hours on the weekly draws and from their share of Treasure Chest proceeds deliver programs, services, recreation and other activities for the benefit of individuals, families, the environment and our community.
Examples of Bay Treasure Chest partner activities are shown below.
FBWHT Donates $20K to Save Blue Mountain Wilderness Connector, Helping NS Nature Trust Protect 560 Acres
The Five Bridges Wilderness Heritage Trust (FBWHT) has donated $20,000 to the Nova Scotia Nature Trust campaign, Save the Wild Blue. As part of the Nature Trust’s overarching campaign to double all of their acres under protection by 2023, this donation will leverage an additional $80,000 from the Federal Government and other funders, to create a total of $100,000 in new funds for nature.
It moves the Nature Trust closer to the $2.8-million needed to purchase the 227 hectare (560 acre) connector property that joins together several parts of the local gem known as the Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes wilderness. Acquiring land, and helping other organizations acquire it for protection from development, is a new strategy of the FBWHT, introduced last year.
Harry Ward, Board Chair, is excited the Trust can give this kind of support. “We are so pleased to help save these wilderness lands that are in the headwaters north of our area, the Five Bridge Lakes Wilderness Area. We know how important keeping natural habitats are for wildlife and biodiversity, especially those close to urban areas. Hopefully others will join in to meet the campaign goal and ensure these special places to hike, canoe and explore are still here for the Halifax community for years to come.”
The $20,000 donation comes directly from the Trust’s partnership in Bay Treasure Chest, a 50/50 lottery run by eight non-profit community groups as a fundraiser in the Hammonds Plains, Tantallon, Timberlea, Hubbards, Peggy’s Cove and St. Margaret’s Bay area. As Harry explains, “We couldn’t make these donations without the Bay Treasure Chest. Thank you to everyone who plays their toonie every week! This is a great example of what that toonie can do in our
community…your toonies become twenty grand and then a hundred.”
Last year, the FBWHT helped to preserve two properties which combined saved about 150 acres of wilderness land. These properties were adjacent to the Trust’s focus area the Five Bridge Lakes Wilderness Area (FBLWA). The Five Bridges Wilderness Heritage Trust is a Canadian non-profit volunteer organization working to preserve, protect and promote use of the Five Bridge Lakes Wilderness Area, a vast area of 8,600 hectares of wilderness on the Chebucto Peninsula. A wilderness escape from the surrounding suburbs and bustle of nearby Halifax, the Five Bridge Lakes Wilderness Area is a popular destination for hikers, fishers, canoers, kayakers, ATVers and nature lovers alike. Trust activities are funded through annual Memberships, donations and the Bay Treasure Chest.
Above: Harry Ward presents the cheque for $20,000 to Allison Thorne with the NS Nature Trust. The map they are holding shows in yellow the parcels of land they are raising funds to purchase. Donations are matched 4:1 until October 15.
Rails to Trails host fundraiser
For the past 10 years, the Seniors Association of St. Margaret’s Bay (Bay Seniors) has contributed to the lives of seniors and all residents of the broader St. Margaret’s Bay area in many ways.
See below for a sampling of the group’s many projects and programs — some shared with BTCA partners — which we will provide more information on as activities ramp up. Says vice president Fred Dolbel: “As we continue to expand our services, we are looking for new volunteers to help. You’ll use your life experiences and skills, meet new friends, and help your community. If you or a friend are interested in volunteering, please contact us!”
*The Seniors Information Centre, run by Bay Seniors, helps source services for seniors and their families, including government services that help people save money and live safely in their own home.
*In an effort to reduce the use of plastic bags and as a fundraiser, Bay Seniors has been collecting recycled materials to make cloth reusable shopping bags that are sold in the area.
*Bay Seniors and BayRides provide a weekly free Grocery Bus Service to seniors living in our community. The Grocery Bus picks up shoppers on Tuesday mornings from communities as far apart as West Dover and Queensland, then drives them to Sobeys or Superstore in Tantallon, where volunteers assist with shopping, followed by a social gathering at the store and a return trip back home.
*Exercise classes! Tai chi is offered on Monday mornings; aerobics on Monday (chair aerobics), Wednesday and Friday mornings. The exercises are low impact and can be performed at the participant’s level.
Shown above: Last year’s Bay Seniors Christmas party, held at Shining Waters — “a wonderful afternoon of music, fun and friendship.” Join the festivities this year on Thursday, December 12, 2pm, at Shining Waters. Party-goers are invited to bring some nibbles for sharing.
Christmas in the Bay
Christmas in the Bay on Saturday, November 30, was a spectacular time, filled with magic and memories — some involving the kiddos — say the organizers, a group of residents. “This was an amazing community effort and a great example of what we can do working together! Our goal in taking this event over from the Chamber of Commerce is that we wanted the residents to have this holiday tradition over the years…. We feel it is an important event in the community as it brings everyone together to welcome the festive season, including SMB not-for-profit organizations and our businesses, so everyone can participate.” Funding in part came from BTC partners (Bay Seniors, SMB Area Rails to Trails Assoc, Bay Rides and SMB Stewardship Assoc). #community spirit.
This past April, the Hubbards Lions Club, along with the St. Margaret’s Bay Lions and St. Margaret’s Food Bank, together formed what is now the Lions & Food Bank Hub, the 8th partner in the Bay Treasure Chest Association.
“Since then, with our Bay Treasure Chest funds earned, we are able to help more people in our community and provide more events for families to enjoy, bringing people together,” says Hubbards Lions member Deanna Pardy Burns.
The group hosted its first ever Canada Day community breakfast this year as well as an Oktoberfest dinner and dance, donating proceeds to the Hubbards Food Bank; kids and their families came out for the first annual pumpkin carving day recently. Next up? Watch for news on Breakfast with Santa, December 7.
While these fun-filled days are great, we still searched for a “special” project, says Deanna.
In August, she contacted the Hubbards Food Bank, inquiring about food supplies for community children and if there was a need. The answer was yes.
“Statistics show that in most communities, some families struggle month to month, and a big part of that struggle is food,” says Deanna. “Monday through Friday can be somewhat easier as children are in school where breakfast and lunch programs are provided, which we are pleased to help with.”
Weekends, however, remain challenging; this is where the new Hubbards Lions Backpack Buddies Program comes into play.
“At the end of each school week, bags are made up at the Lions Club, consisting of small meals, snacks, drinks and fresh fruit. These bags are then provided to the school principal who in turn, discreetly places them in backpacks.
“It’s an amazing feeling to know we are helping,” says Deanna.
“We want to thank people near and far who play their toonies weekly,” she adds. “Not only are you playing for you, for the chance of winning personally, you are also playing for our communities.”
Back to School
The SMB Lions welcome guest speakers from community organizations looking for financial assistance. Recently, Deborah Ratcliffe spoke about the local General Educational Development (GED) Program, which helps folks from 19 to 70, and beyond, achieve their high school equivalency diploma.
“The GED Program helps people find new work opportunities” noted Deborah. “[Given the literacy aspect] some folks are thrilled to be able to read to their grandchildren,” she added.
The GED Program that Deborah is involved with covers the Chebucto Peninsula, St. Margaret’s Bay and Aspotogan Peninsula. The SMB Lions have made a financial contribution to this program for two years.
Contact club secretary Rennie Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org or 902-826-2732) if you would like to speak at a Lions meeting, held every 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month at St. Margaret’s Centre in Tantallon. If you are interested in joining, drop by for a meeting!
Saturday June 1 is International Trails Day—and there’s perhaps no better place to celebrate than on the trails in our own backyard: the St. Margaret’s Bay Area Rails to Trails (SMBARTA) and BLT Rails to Trails. Check out the following events.
*10am-1:30pm. BLT’s Walk-Run-Bike event starts at the Trailhead (parking lot next to Coca-Cola plant in Lakeside Industrial Park) and ends 5.2 km away at St Andrew’s Anglican Church. (Bikers and runners have options to extend the distance.)
*10am-2pm SMBARTA’s Beaver Dam and Park Bike Ride is a fun excursion from Jerry Lawrence Park parking lot on Highway 3, proceeding through the new connector trail to the Rails to Trails path then west to the Bike and Bean (about 5 km), and return. You’ll stop along the way to view interpretive signs… and maybe spot a beaver! Suitable for families and novices.
*10am-2pm: SMBARTA’s Foodie and Market Bike Ride, from Black Point Firehall to Hubbards Market (about 9 km), and return. Enjoy stops for snacks, to browse at the market, and to appreciate amazing sea views.
In 2018 St. Margaret’s Bay Area Rails to Trails Association, one of the eight Bay Treasure Chest Association partners, completed a three-year recapitalization project on its 32.5 kilometre trail that runs between Lewis Lake and Hubbards.
“This past winter, the SMBARTA Board of Directors offered to share some of our BTC revenue with our neighbouring trail group, the BLT Association,” says Rick Muzyk, SMBARTA vice-chair. “Many of our Bay Treasure Chest players come from the Beechville-Lakeside-Timberlea area and enjoy both trails… Our two associations will work closely together to use BTC funds to maintain our community trails in good conditions for users.”
Shaping the future
To market, to market
Saving our wild spaces
The Five Bridges Wilderness Heritage Trust recently donated $20,000 to the Nova Scotia Nature Trust’s Lasting Landscapes Campaign, supporting the Nature Trust’s bid to purchase—hereby preserving—100 acres of green space bordering Frederick Lake.
The land is surrounded by the Five Bridge Lakes Wilderness Area, a wild landscape of rugged, rocky barrens, unique forests and lakes, plus home to endangered Mainland Moose as well as rare plants, birds and lichens.
Development of that shoreline would negatively impact the wildlife habitat corridors within the Wilderness Area… and destroy the incredible vistas and wilderness values for the many people who hike the Bluff Trail and paddle the wilderness lakes, notes a long-time supporter.
The donation has an even bigger footprint: it was delivered personally by FBWHT chair Harry Ward to meet a deadline of April 5th, which meant that it would be matched 4:1 by the federal government.
“That means our $20,000 became $100,000 really quick,” says Harry. “We are so pleased to help the Nature Trust in this way and hopefully work towards expanding the Wilderness Area for more people to enjoy for years to come.”
This marks the first time the Trust has helped to purchase land that will expand the Five Bridge Lakes Wilderness Area, which already encompasses 27,000 acres of wilderness lands on the Chebucto Peninsula, including five distinct watersheds.
Shown above: Harry Ward, chair of Five Bridges Wilderness Heritage Trust, delivers a cheque for $20,000 to NS Nature Trust. Shown left (L-R): Allan MacDonald, Ryan McLean and Bonnie Sutherland, NSNT; Harry Ward; Allison Dubé, NSNT.
Toonies make the wheels go ’round
Bay Treasure Chest Association welcomes 8th partner!
Getting out ‘n’ about
Thanks to everyone who joined BayRides last Saturday to celebrate the launch of its new bus and van!
The organization was able to purchase these new vehicles thanks to funding from the Accessible Transportation Assistance Program of the NS Department of Municipal Affairs and the HRM District 13 Capital Fund, along with funds generated through BayRides’ partnership in the Bay Treasure Chest Association.
By playing BTC you support affordable transportation in our community!
Looking for transport to a social or recreational engagement; to a medical appointment, or to work? BayRides can help. For information, please visit bayrides.ca, or call 902-820-6600
Duncan O’Leary (below left). Matt is an inspiring individual and he has started a VLog talking to local community groups… check it out here.
BayRides rider in the driver’s seat
GPI Youth yurt building
A tale of two trails
In 2018 St. Margaret’s Bay Area Rails to Trails Association, one of the seven Bay Treasure Chest Association partners, completed a three-year recapitalization project on its 32.5 kilometre trail that runs between Lewis Lake and Hubbards.
“This winter, the SMBARTA Board of Directors offered to share some of our BTC revenue with our neighbouring trail group, the BLT Association,” says Rick Muzyk, SMBARTA vice-chair. “Many of our Bay Treasure Chest players come from the Beechville-Lakeside-Timberlea area and enjoy both trails.”
The BLT Trails, 13 kilometres long, run from the Coca-Cola plant in Beechville to where the St. Margaret’s Bay Trail begins, Lewis Lake.
“We’re in the same family,” says Rick. “Our two associations will work closely together to use BTC funds to maintain our community trails in good conditions for users.”
The two multi-use trails in turn form part of the South Shore’s 109-km Rum Runners’ Trail, which runs from Halifax to Lunenburg.
Food for thought
The Seniors Association seeks to help seniors in the St. Margaret’s Bay area realize their retirement dreams, maintain control over their lives and to present opportunities for sharing their skills and experience for the benefit of all area residents. Energy and funds are used to help local seniors find accommodation and participate in social, community and wellness activities.
In recognizing that donations to St. Margaret’s Bay Food Bank fluctuate from month to month, the Seniors Association recently gave it a significant donation to help top up its low months’ distribution of protein-rich foods and personal care products for senior clients.
Partnering with nature
Located off Indian Point in Glen Haven, Micou’s Island is accessible by foot at low tide. The island is owned by the Department of Lands and Forestry, which has a stewardship agreement with the St. Margaret’s Bay Stewardship Association (SMBSA)—one of the Bay Treasure Chest Association’s seven partners.
There are four natural habitats on Micou’s: a brackish wetland, a woodland, a meadow and the shoreline, each supporting varying species of plant and wildlife.
One such species is the northern pileated woodpecker. Roughly the size of a crow, it is the largest species of woodpecker in Canada, with a large red crest that stands out brightly on the top of its head; males also have a bright red “mustache” which extends along their cheeks. Even if you haven’t spotted one, you may have heard one. Its “drumming” on trees to get insects can be heard up to a kilometre away, says Mike Lancaster, SMBSA coordinator.
“Although I have observed these beauties on Micou’s during every season I tend to see them more frequently in winter,” he says. “So keep sharp!”
Hammonds Plains Community Centre, 2041 Hammonds Plains Road, is set to host its own 80th birthday party this year! The building was originally constructed in 1939 as a school, then converted to a community hall in 1969.
Of course, keeping an 80-year old building safe, accessible and relevant for a modern, growing community requires some TLC, not to mention funds.
Hammonds Plains Community Centre is part of the Bay Treasure Chest Association fundraising partnership. BTCA funds have helped to maintain and improve the hall for long-term community benefit, including projects such as upgrading the lighting and, most recently, replacing the floors.
Time to dim the new lights and dance the night away!
Find more info about HPCC here.
On September 18, 2018, St Margaret’s Bay Area Rails to Trails Association (SMBARTA), one of the seven BTCA partners, celebrated some significant milestones! Kudos to all volunteers, sponsors and contributors, including BTC players.
#prideofplace #nature #community
#conservation #environment #health #heritage #recreation
$40,000 in Environmental Stewardship Awards Granted
The Five Bridges Wilderness Heritage Trust (FBWHT) has selected six projects for funding this year under its Environmental Stewardship Grants Program, worth $40,000 in total.
Projects include improving access to and trails within the Five Bridges Lakes Wilderness Area; expanding the Fish Friends salmon program in schools, whereby students in Grades 4-6 learn about conserving salmon and other aquatic plants and animals; training new trail stewards; and expanding opportunities for kids at Roots and Boots Forest School.
The projects are all aligned with the FBWHT’s mandate of protecting and preserving the public lands and natural spaces of the Chebucto Peninsula.
One of the projects receiving funding is already underway, at the end of Joshua Slocum Ave. in Lewis Lake — a key access point for the public to enter the Five Bridge Lakes Wilderness Area. A new designated parking lot and trail improvements to the Lewis Lake Fire Road Trail are in progress. This trail links to the colonial Old St. Margaret’s Bay Road that traverses 23 kilometres from Goodwood to Glen Margaret through natural wilderness areas.
“This is the second year of the grants program.” says Harry Ward, of FBWHT. “We are pleased to support these community groups as they tackle trail and environmental improvements that will benefit this area for years to come.”
2018 Grant Recipients and Project Details:
$7,000 Trail development and improvements within the wilderness area from Nine Mile River to Goodwood.
$7,000 Upgrades and repairs along 3.2 KM linking the rail bed in Tantallon to the new parking lot area at the trail entrance of Ralph Wheadon Trail.
$7,000 Improve public access to the wilderness area with the creation of a new one-acre parking lot at the end of Joshua Slocum Ave. in Lewis Lake.
$7,000 To support the expansion of the Fish Friends Program, which provides salmon eggs and classroom fish tanks so children can learn about their maturation, in more St. Margaret’s Bay Schools.
$10,000 To support the training of new trail stewards learning about the protection of the ecosystem in the popular Bluff Trail Wilderness Area.
$2,000 To support the increased staffing needs of providing a forest school camp experience to special needs children.
BayRides for all!
Looking for transport to a social or recreational engagement; to a medical appointment, or to work? BayRides can help.
“Our goal is to provide affordable transportation throughout the Bay for all segments of the population,” says executive director Patty King, adding that people tend to think the subsidized service is for seniors only; hence folks who are not seniors may be reluctant to book a ride.
As well: people ask if you can use BayRides to get to medical appointments outside the Bay. The answer is yes, as long as you live within the Bay area (defined as from West Dover to Yankeetown Road and from Hubley to Queensland).
Cost: Depending on the distance within the Bay area, a return trip costs $5 or $8. All rides must be booked a minimum of 24 hours in advance. For outside the area, the cost will vary depending on the distance. In order to be sure that a volunteer driver is available for out-of-area appointments, booking a week in advance is necessary.
Times & days: BayRides typically operates Monday to Friday from 6am to 6pm; however, rides can be arranged outside these days and times for an additional cost.
When to book: the dispatcher is in the office Monday to Friday, 10am to 1pm, to book your ride.
As a partner in the Bay Treasure Chest Association (BTCA), BayRides benefits from collaborating with other groups to raise funds for community projects and services. “Our partnership with BTCA helps us to continue providing this growing vital service to the community, helping us to maintain fares,” says Patty.
For more information, please visit bayrides.ca, or call 902-820-6600.
Shown above: Sadie Jane gives art lessons at her home studio but also has a part-time job near the Crossroads. Since the fall of 2017, she has been using BayRides four times a week to get back and forth to work.
New Tribute to Anne Martell
Anne Martell was one of the Bay Treasure Chest founders. While visiting Montague, PEI, she and Harry Cook saw a Rotary Club’s weekly 50-50 toonie draw; back home in the Bay, they presented the concept to the Stewardship Association, where she was a director.
The plan was for several St. Margaret’s Bay volunteer groups representing a broad range of ages and interests to share in a combined fundraiser. Instead of each non-profit continuing to raise funds with its own “bake sale,” the groups would band together to organize ONE bake sale: the BTC. The work and proceeds would be shared equally; the funds would enable each group to maintain its current platforms, and offer enhanced programs in future.
A number of local volunteer groups were invited to participate, but only five were able to provide the required seed money and essential number of volunteers. The first draw was held on April 16, 2014. At the end of that month BTC had 41 volunteers, 1,256 active numbers, and the average weekly win was $527. Fast forward some four years, to June 2018. There are now seven partners, more than 200 volunteers, 17,700+ active numbers, and the average weekly win is $9,700.
In Anne Martell’s memory, the BTC partners created a Scholarship Fund; partners contribute a percentage of proceeds that combined, total $30,000 annually. Funds are awarded to local high school students to help with post-secondary studies.
If you are on Micou’s, “please come and spend some time on this bench, contemplating the beauty of this beautiful soul and island,” says Mike Lancaster, of the Stewardship Assoc.
Expanded paths and precision parking!
If you’ve been to the Hubbards Barn this year, you may have noticed some landscaping enhancements.
The old trails have been widened and levelled; the uneven dirt track and boardwalk areas have been replaced with compressed gravel. “This makes the trails more user-friendly, particularly for anyone who has mobility restrictions,” says Christine Hall, a director of Hubbards Barn Association (HBA).
“The improvements enable more people to use the trails for enjoyment and exercise, and easier access to the off-site parking areas needed on farmers market days.”
Speaking of parking, last fall HBA identified limited parking in the main lot as a pressing challenge. After considering various options, the association installed parking lot curbs to help visitors more easily identify available parking spaces and pull right up to the curb, thereby providing more room for pedestrian and vehicle traffic. “This increases efficient use of space and safety for pedestrians and motorists, and ensures parking areas designated for handicap and senior parking remain available and accessible,” notes Christine.
The Hubbards Barn farmers’ market has been a part of the St. Margaret’s Bay community for 20 years; runs every Saturday, 8am-noon, until the end of October.
See you there!
GPI Youth joined forces with Vitality Skateboarding to provide three new boards, safety kits as well as lesson bursaries, so youth can try boarding without having to buy the equipment.
Funding was made possible in part through GPI’s partnership in Bay Treasure Chest Association; Pro Skateboards provided the equipment. Brian Snelgrove from Vitality (902-414-5048) offers lessons at Estabrooks Community Hall, in Hubley, and will be teaching at outdoor locations in St. Margaret’s Bay over the summer. Check out GPI and Vitality on Facebook for more youth activities. If you are interested in volunteering for the new Youthscape project to build a skatepark, please contact Gwen Colman at 902-489-7007.
From the top: Ryder Snelgrove checks out the new goods; Brian Snelgrove oversees his young charges at Estabrooks Community Hall.
BTCA youth set to work the crowd at 5th annual Bay Expo
As seen at the Bay Expo on May 12 — a community event held at Estabrooks Community Hall showcasing the best businesses, organizations and services St. Margaret’s Bay has to offer, organized by the Seniors Association — pirates Fallon and Eamonn Mulrooney, from the Unicorn Theatre, part of the BTCA partner Bay Youth Hub, are on a mission. There were also folks from the St. Margarets Bay Toy Library and GPI Youth, other youth hub groups.
Jerry Lawrence connector trail
St. Margaret’s Bay Area Rails to Trails Association has completed a 350 metre connector trail between the St. Margaret’s Bay Trail and Jerry Lawrence Provincial Park — made possible with a grant from Five Bridges Wilderness Heritage Trust and from funds earned as a Bay Treasure Chest Association partner.
“This project has been in the works for a number of years,” says SMBARTA director Rick Muzyk. “Trail users will now have easy access to enjoy Jerry Lawrence Park and all its amenities.”
Shingles Vaccination program offered by Seniors Assoc.
For the past three years, the Seniors Association of St. Margaret’s Bay has allocated a portion of the funds raised from its participation as a Bay Treasure Chest partner to its popular Shingles Vaccination program.
The Seniors Association provides full or partial financial assistance to members who have never had a shingles vaccination, who do not have a prescription drug plan that will cover the cost of the vaccine, and who are in receipt of the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) or the Allowance.
Find information online about shingles at 811.novascotia.ca, or call 811 to talk to a nurse around the clock, seven days/week.
Bluff Trail Conservation
With a $10,000 environmental stewardship grant awarded by Five Bridges Wilderness Heritage Trust, St. Margaret’s Bay Stewardship Association will continue running its monthly Bluff Trail Stewardship Program this year, teaching volunteers key aspects of protecting the popular Bluff Trail Wilderness Area — a natural wilderness environment with 30 kilometres of trail networks that are increasingly exposed to negative human impacts. The trailhead is located on the Beechville-Lakeside-Timberlea (BLT) trail midway between the Hwy 103 overpass just south of Exit 4 and the northern tip of Cranberry Lake. Want to volunteer? You’ll head out on the trails for a guided six-hour hike (including a few rest stops), with conversation about the natural area and how to preserve it. Training dates: May 26, June 23, July 29, August 12, September 16, October 20, November 4 and December 9. For more information, contact email@example.com or call 902-876-7377.
Future’s so bright…
Hammonds Plains Community Centre, a BTCA partner via its Community Centre Hub, recently upgraded its lighting. Every light fixture inside and out has been converted to LED for energy savings; more potlights have been added inside, with dimmer switches, providing flexible lighting options for events. Bonus: four outlets now have USB ports to keep devices charged. Bright, efficient and keeping you connected! The project was also made possible with a rebate from Efficiency Nova Scotia.
New Crossroads Connections!
Cooperation among local community groups and development agencies is bringing a new Community Enterprise Centre to St. Margaret’s Bay.
One of the directors of Bay Treasure Chest Association gets animated when he talks about the 50-50 weekly lottery. “Fundraising as a group of service organizations, we can do so much more working together than we could individually,” he says.
Carry that notion into a different realm, as you walk through the doors of the new SMB Community Enterprise Centre (SMB CEC) at the Crossroads in Upper Tantallon (the former Mariposa Market). You’ve got a boardroom, offices and meeting rooms around the inside perimeter; after the reception area when you first enter, there’s a common area, or a hub, where you can perhaps attend a workshop, have a coffee or connect with other community members.
Here’s the notion again:
We can do much more working together than individually. The purpose of the SMB CEC is to be a hub of activity and growth by tapping into the experiences, skills and knowledge of varied community members, consolidating resources and expertise, for mutual benefit.
The CEC, which officially opens in April, is the result of several BTCA Partners pooling their funds earned. The venue will specifically offer:
- Drop-in conversation, socialization and networking space
- Permanent location for the Seniors Association and other not-for-profit groups
- Serviced offices and meeting spaces, staffed by volunteers from the SMB CEC partners
- Social enterprise and entrepreneurial resources including
*delivery of training programs for local volunteer groups and businesses
*access to funding and grant programs
- Delivery of government services in St. Margaret’s Bay
Above: the reception area for the new Community Enterprise Centre. Watch for a Grand Opening announcement in April.
BayRides expands its fleet
BayRides has a new a van, meaning it now has three vehicles: two vans and one bus, to provide accessible, safe and affordable door to door transportation for residents of St. Margaret’s Bay.
The new van will help support the rapid growth BayRides has experienced since 2015. “We expect to cover 90,000 kilometres in 2018 and 2019,” says Julie Stover, executive director. “That represents about 5,000 one-way rides.”
Julie says there’s been an increase in the number of riders using the service to get to and from work in the Bay area as well as to the MetroX bus stop at Exit 5 to get to work in the city, and to schools, shops, and appointments.
One rider is Matt Walsh, shown above. Prior to working at Subway, Matt wanted to take a morning course in Halifax. With a little help from BayRides, he was able to establish a routine: his mother dropped him off at the MetroX stop on her way to work, where he got a bus to town; in the afternoon BayRides picked him up there, and drove him home.
BayRides now takes Matt to and from work at Subway. “It’s given me my independence,” he says, adding that he hopes the organization will at some point offer weekend and evening service so he can have more flexibility with regard to his work schedule.
“Our partnership with Bay Treasure Chest helps us maintain fares, and provide rider subsidies as needed,” says Julie.
Find more information online at bayrides.ca.
Above: Matt Walsh and the new BayRides van. The service enables individuals to live in the area without a car, or with only one car in their family. Riders report an improved quality of life that comes with an increased independence and connection to the community.
Five Bridges Wilderness Heritage Trust – New Nine Mile River Bridge
The new Nine Mile River Bridge is complete! This milestone project took five years from inception, involving funding from Bay Treasure Chest, as well as Off Highway Vehicle Infrastructure Fund, Connect2, PRRA, District 13 Councillor Matt Whitman, Safety Minded ATV Association (SMATVA), plus hundreds of volunteer hours — in particular from SMATVA president Mike Marriott, also Five Bridges Wilderness Heritage Trust board member.
Where is the Nine Mile River Bridge? It’s 6.4 kilometres in from Goodwood, the east side of Hwy 333 on the Old St. Margaret’s Bay Road (also known as the Old Coach Road) on the Chebucto Peninsula; it’s the trailhead boundary to entering the Five Bridge Lakes Wilderness Area on the east side.
Mike’s volunteer crews, many members of SMATVA, led the charge to create this wonderful new 20-metre (66 foot) link that allows multi-use trail access from Goodwood to Seabright, across the Old St. Margaret’s Bay Road (approx. 20 km), to Lewis Lake and Tantallon communities via the Lewis Lake Fire Road (approx.12 km) and to Woodens River/Old Halifax Road on the west side of Hwy 333.
Stay tuned for an event this spring to celebrate its completion!
For more information about Five Bridges Wilderness Heritage Trust please visit fivebridgestrust.ca
Above: Mike and long-time FBWHT supporter Beth McGee on the new bridge.
St. Margaret’s Bay Toy Library — new toys!
This group, part of BTCA partner Bay Youth Hub, recently replaced two old tricycles and bought a slide. Hip hip hooray!
Bay Youth Hub: Community Consultations and Yurt Play
Above, from left: playing in the yurt; views from outside and inside.
Members of the Bay Youth Hub have been participating in community consultations regarding what people want for youth in our district, including of course the youth themselves. GPI Youth are conducting the surveys, and putting together the results to share with the community — to that end they hosted some focus groups and coffeehouses in their Youth Yurt last spring.
Yurt Building Workshops for Youth
GPI Youth participated in several yurt-building workshops last spring and fall, and are now building a yurt. Interested youth should contact Gwen Colman at 902 489-7007 if they want to participate.
St. Margaret’s Bay Toy Library Christmas Party
From one of the (adult) Christmas party participants: The very talented face painter Jill came; we all love getting our faces painted! We also had a special visitor — Santa — who gave out presents to the children; he read stories and sang Christmas songs with them as well. Bonus: there were Christmas crafts and party boxes. We all had plenty of fun and far too much to eat!
Seniors Grocery Shuttle
The Seniors Association of St. Margaret’s Bay and BayRides–both Bay Treasure Chest Partners–have combined forces to offer a free Seniors Grocery Shuttle on Tuesday mornings, alternating weekly between Sobeys and Superstore in Tantallon. Shoppers are picked up from West Dover to Queensland, and points in between.
Volunteers are available to help participants with shopping as well as getting groceries inside the door at the other end; there may be time for the group to relax and catch up on news in the community room before the shuttle returns you home.
“Services for seniors is a wonderful idea,” noted participant Neil MacArthur, from Hacketts Cove. “We become a little isolated, as everyone will find out when it’s their turn.”
This free service is made possible through funds raised via Bay Treasure Chest.
To register for the Seniors Grocery Shuttle, please call the Seniors Association (902) 820-3334.
2017 Environmental Stewardship Grant Recipients
Six community organizations in the St. Margaret’s Bay area have taken on environmental education and trail improvements thanks to grants awarded last year under the Five Bridges Wilderness Heritage Trust’s new Environmental Stewardship Grants Program.
Using funds from the Bay Treasure Chest, the Trust launched this program last spring; work has been underway throughout summer and fall. Projects range from repairing a bridge and culvert to prevent trail erosion to creating a new connector trail from the St. Margaret’s Bay Rails to Trails to the parking lot area of Jerry Lawrence Provincial Park, allowing for increased parking and access to outhouses.
“It’s a winning partnership when the Trust can provide funding through these grants to community organizations who will do the projects we just couldn’t accomplish on our own,” says Harry Ward, Trust Chair.
Watch for news on the program’s 2018 projects!
Shown above back row, from left: Harry Ward, FBWHT Board Chair, Kimberly Berry, Bluff Trail Stewardship Program and WREOW, Tom Musial, Chair FBL Coalition, Mike Marriott, President, Safety-Minded ATV Assoc., Lindsay Gates, BLT Rails to Trails. Front, from left: Karen Sullivan, BLT Rails to Trails Assoc., Mike Lancaster, Bluff Trail Stewardship Program and WREOW, Katherine Klefenz, BLT Rails to Trails, Alana Ziegler, GPI Atlantic Youth, Gwen Colman, GPI Atlantic Youth.
Creating warmth for Micou’s stewards
Nick Horne of the St. Margaret’s Bay Stewardship Association (SMBSA) created a video to show the transport of a 400 pound wood stove insert across the sandbar to install in Micou’s restored historic fisher cottage. Micou’s, a tidal island accessible by a sandbar at low tide, is located in the Glen Haven community near the eastern shore of St. Margaret’s Bay. Its beach, wetland and forest with trails has become a focal point for recreation and celebration of natural and cultural elements of the community, used frequently by hikers, kayakers, boaters and youth education groups such as local schools, the Sierra Club, GPI Youth and Katimavik.
The Island is cared for by a group of Island Stewards organized by the St. Margaret’s Bay Stewardship Association. The stove was funded by Councillor Matt Whitman and Bay Treasure Chest to help stewards care for the island year round.
Also shown in the photo are Mike Lancaster, Jeff LeBoutilier, Scott Pelton, and Thomas MacLeod.
New ramp at Hubbards Barn
The Hubbards Barn Association (HBA) oversees the Hubbards Barn and Community Park which is home to the very popular Hubbards Farmers’ Market, and hosts many weddings and other community events throughout the year. The HBA used some of its Bay Treasure Chest funds to install a beautiful concrete ramp to improve access to our Barn. The ramp is flanked by gardens tended by the children and staff from the “Through the Years Day Care Centre”
The first scene of “Oooh Canada!” whereby Britain and France face off. Shown left to right are Sophia Lindfield and Maia McCann.
Unicorn Theatre’s original show“Oooh Canada!” is an entertaining look at the many facets of Canada’s personality and culture, through the eyes of young Canadians. Members of Pegasus—Unicorn’s enhanced theatre program for youth in Grades 7-12—worked hard on the project for six months, with support from mentors/directors Katerina Bakolias and Grace Dean.
First, a team of writers created a script; a selection of Canadian music was then added. The show was cast, a support team was assembled and rehearsals began in May.
The teen cast took the show on the road from June 24 to 29, performing at Tantallon and Keshen Goodman Public Libraries, the Museum of Natural History and Halifax Central Library (audience: 150 people). The show on Canada Day, at Unicorn Theatre’s home base in the Bay Community Centre, attracted more than 100 people. Unicorn’s Canada 150 project was made possible by funding from the Bay Treasure Chest.
Outings for seniors
The SMB Seniors Association uses some Bay Treasure Chest funds to subsidize group outings to local historical sites and cultural activities.
Again in 2017 three excursions offered local seniors an opportunity to socialize with old friends, make new friends and share experiences in traditional Nova Scotia performances and Twenty-four local seniors enjoyed a memorable performance of Nova Scotia Tattoo in June. On August 19 another 44 seniors made a long distance visit to Annapolis Royal’s Heritage Gardens www.historicgardens.com. An even larger group had a late summer cruise on the Bluenose II in her home port of Lunenburg.
Seniors in the Bay area can enjoy day trips without the hassle of parking in the city or driving long distances by themselves. BayRides helps local residents connect with the departure and return of the large tour bus.
Preserving the Bay, one Island at a time
The St. Margaret’s Bay Stewardship Association (SMBSA) has used contributions from Bay Treasure Chest to coordinate projects that further its mission of preserving and enhancing the Bay area’s environment, heritage and quality of life. Projects in 2017 include:
*Micou’s Island Stewardship Program – more than 100 volunteer Island Stewards.
*Troop Island Stewardship Program – more than 1,100 lb of waste removed.
*Eyes On Islands – St. Margaret’s Bay Island Community Stewardship Program – more than 500 lb of waste removed.
*Summer Stewardship Assistants Program – partnership project with St. Margaret’s Bay Area Rails to Trails (SMBARTA), Woodens River Watershed Environmental Organization (WRWEO) and Safety Minded ATV Association (SMATVA).
*The creation of the Bluff Trail Stewardship Program in partnership with WRWEO.
Kiley Bridge upgrade
In June 2017, with funding support from the Bay Treasure Chest, St. Margaret’s Bay Area Rails to Trails Association completed the replacement of deck and stringers of Kiley Bridge in Ingramport.
Enabling Accessibility in Hammonds Plains
Bay Treasure Chest funds are used to maintain and improve the Hammonds Plains Community Centre for long-term community benefit. Keeping a 78-year old building safe, accessible and relevant for a modern, growing community is hard work… made easier with Bay Treasure Chest support.
Recent accessibility improvements include a new low-threshold door with an electric opener, which makes accessing the building from the wheelchair ramp easier. A grant was received from the federal Enabling Accessibility Fund, and together with BTC support made the project possible.
Walking Guide Books
Joanne Ewasiuk (R) of D&Jo’s Country Market receives her copy of “A Walking Guide to the Old St. Margaret’s Bay Road” from BTC volunteer Beth McGee. The Walking Guide is a recent publication of the Five Bridges Wilderness Heritage Trust (FBWHT) made possible through funding partnerships and the Bay Treasure Chest.
Many Walking Guides have been distributed free to local nature lovers and walkers as a result of Bay Treasure Chest dollars at work in our community. (Walking Guide books are available at the Tantallon, Keshen Goodman, and Captain William Spry libraries, however they are in very short supply.)
With generous funding support from the Bay Treasure Chest, J.D. Shatford Memorial Trust and Aspotogan Heritage Trust, St. Margaret’s Bay Area Rails to Trails Association completed the replacement of the deck and stringers of Puddle Bridge in Black Point in May 2017. This is the longest wood deck bridge on St. Margaret’s Trail.
Summer interns help with area preservation
This past Summer Interns Allyssa Poulin & Kaitlyn Enders, hired in part with funds from the Bay Treasure Chest, did a lot of work for the St. Margaret’s Bay Stewardship Association, as well with Bay Area Rails Trails Association, Safety Minded ATV Association, Five Bridge Wilderness Heritage Trust, and the Woodens River Watershed Environmental Organization.
Their work included: forest fire prevention, shoreline garbage cleanup, gathering firewood and building a wood crib, bank stabilization, planting Alder catkins & erosion wall, trail maintenance, and invasive Japanese Knotweed control and removal. Click to read their report.
Working together the Seniors Association and BayRides, provide a year round Tuesday morning grocery shuttle using funds received from the Bay Treasure Chest. The shuttle alternates weekly between Sobey’s and Superstore in Tantallon.
Volunteers help participants with their grocery shopping and the driver or a volunteer assists with getting groceries inside the door when the shuttle returns shoppers to their home. Thank you to Superstore and Sobey’s for providing coffee/tea and refreshments and a socializing opportunity for grocery shuttle patrons.
The grocery shuttle is proving to be very successful with shoppers being picked up from West Dover to Queensland and points in between. The service is now using both the BayRides bus and van.
To register for the Grocery Shuttle call the Seniors Information Centre at (902) 820-3334.
Nine Mile River Project
The Five Bridges Wilderness Heritage Trust (FBWHT) has invested funds received from the Bay Treasure Chest towards our Adopt the Nine Mile River Project in partnership Clean Nova Scotia and Royal Bank of Canada through their Bluewater Fund Program.
This research will determine whether headwaters of the Nine Mile River are impacted from commercial, industrial and residential land uses and activities north of HWY 103.
Bay Treasure funds helped to augment costs for laboratory analyses and the employment of university students associated with the ongoing collection of surface water samples at nine key locations.
Wider Distribution of Newsletters
The Seniors Association uses Bay Treasure Chest funds to print and mail monthly newsletters to seniors who do not use computers. Printed newsletters are also distributed around the community to help seniors, families and caregivers stay informed about upcoming activities. Newsletters help seniors find a wide variety of resources that help them live safely and well. Articles advise families of various government programs, rebates and assistance as they become available through the year.
Helping Local Seniors Remain Healthy
It is estimated that 1 in 3 people will experience shingles (Herpes Zoster) in their lifetime, and seniors are at higher risk than other age groups. The nerve pain associated with shingles can be excruciating and last for months and in some cases, years.
The Seniors Association used Bay Treasure Chest funds to help provide shingles vaccinations to Bay area seniors in early 2016. Seniors who received the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) and did not have a prescription drug plan that covered shingles vaccinations qualified for this assistance.
Community Calendar and Bulletin Board
Bay Treasure Chest funds received by the Seniors Association of St. Margaret’s Bay provides funding for CC-Net, an on-line Community Calendar and Bulletin Board. CC-Net is managed by Connecting Communities whose purpose is to support 30+ volunteer organizations from Peggy’s Cove to Hammond’s Plains, and from Hubley to the Aspotogan. The website www.cc-net.org and Community Calendar helps churches, community and other volunteer groups publicize their activities, including fundraisers, public performances, and events.
CC-Net also features a Community Bulletin Board where not-for-profit groups can find volunteers, partner with each other, ask for donations, and advertise for paid employment opportunities.
The website also links to a powerful online Community Search Tool which anyone can use to find local service providers of anything from accommodations to a Yoga teacher.
The Seniors Association of St. Margaret’s Bay in conjunction with Transition Bay and government housing agencies has been holding community-wide workshops in preparation to bring affordable rental accommodation to the community.
For this vital work The Seniors Association is reserving the largest part of its share of Bay Treasure Chest funds to develop affordable housing options for the St. Margaret’s Bay area so that more people can enjoy all that life here provides.
Bay Treasure Chest funds assisted with the many 20th Anniversary activities that took place at the Unicorn Theatre in Head of St. Margaret’s Bay, including purchasing the performance rights and scripts for the youth-driven “Wizard of Wonderland” production.
The Unicorn Theatre bought some LED lights, wireless microphones and headsets, as well as other small pieces of electronic equipment to improve lighting and sound. Also, Unicorn had some shelves built and bought a new laptop to run the music for the shows and another wireless microphone.
The Bay Treasure Chest is delighted to support creative activities and exploration by the youth in our community through the Bay Youth Hub which includes GPI Youth, The St. Margaret’s Bay Skateboard Park, the St. Margaret’s Bay Toy Library and the Unicorn Theatre.
Bike Old St. Margaret’s Bay Road
In the summer of 2015 the Our HRM Alliance, the Ecology Action Centre and others staged a series of events called Hike The Greenbelt. It was an opportunity for the citizens of the Halifax Regional Municipality to explore the many wilderness opportunities on the their doorstep by hiking, canoeing, biking, and running.
One of the events was a bike trip down the Old St. Margaret’s Bay Road across the Chebucto Peninsula on a historic route dating back to the late 1700s! This short film documents a part of their journey. This event was hosted and financially sponsored by the Five Bridges Wilderness Heritage Trust utilizing funds from the Bay Treasure Chest.
Click here to see a video of the event by Kent Martin.
Micou’s Island Improvements
Funds from the Bay Treasure Chest have been used by the St. Margaret’s Bay Stewardship Association to make necessary repairs to the house on Micou’s Island. The house dates back to the late 19th Century and its original timbers were floated by barge out to the Island. It is now used as a residence in three seasons for our participants in the Micou’s Island Stewardship program. The Stewards keep a watchful eye on the Island, conduct workshops, host groups, and make improvements to trails.
Click here for more information about Micou’s Island and the Stewardship Association.
Stewardship Association Drone
With the use of funds from the Bay Treasure Chest the St. Margaret’s Bay Stewardship Association assisted with the purchase of a Drone for aerial photography for the Ecology Action Centre. The drone will be used by the EAC to have an “eye in the sky “ on the use of lands, forests and waterways in Nova Scotia. Sharing in the utilization of this Drone, the SMBSA will record images of the St. Margaret’s Bay Watershed area to look for changes or misuses of the environment including the Islands of the Bay, especially Troop Island and Micou’s Island. Most of us know our part of the Bay but few of us have an overview of the whole area thus we also hope to produce a video of “The Bay from the Air” which will give a complete and dramatic aerial view for all.
In 2016, the Seniors Association will use some Bay Treasure Chest funds to subsidize group outings to local historical sites and to cultural activities. The first excursion will take members and community guests on a tour of Canada’s Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, the Seaport Market, and the new Public Library in Halifax. BayRides helps local residents connect with the departure and return of the large tour bus.
A late summer excursion is also being planned to visit the Hope for Wildlife Centre in Seaforth, NS.
Early response indicates that seniors in the Bay area are pleased to enjoy day trips without the hassle of driving and parking in the city themselves. Excursions offer local seniors an opportunity to socialize with old friends and make new friends. More information available on the Seniors Association website.
With funding from the Bay Treasure Chest, Santa used BayRides to help people get to all of the Christmas in the Bay events, and gave his Reindeer some much needed rest before the big night.
A New Mural on the BLT Trail
Some users of the BLT Trail may have noticed something new on the trail – a beautiful new mural on the Highway 103 overpass.
Although graffiti, when expertly done, is a well-recognized artform, this was not necessarily the case for the haphazard collection that covered the 103 overpass. The Blackbook Collective Art and Clothing, a company formed by local artists, was contacted to undertake the project. The Collective designed the murals, engaged a talented group of artists to do the work, and executed the project in a matter of days.
The Five Bridges Wilderness Heritage Trust, with funds from the Bay Treasure Chest, the Woodens River Watershed Environmental Organization, and the Rails To Trails Association shared in the costs of this delightful project.
Click here to watch a YouTube slideshow of the mural.
Treasure Chest funds are being used to support light exercise and other group activities, and to provide wellness support to more local seniors and families in several locations around St. Margaret’s Bay.