77 people attended GaLTT’s 20th AGM held at the Golf Course on Sunday March 10th. We began with a presentation by Chris Drake, owner/operator of Coast Alive Stewardship Services from Salt Spring Island, who had taken some GaLTT leadership volunteers on a walk in Sul h’ween X’pey earlier in the day to learn about the restoration projects he is working on there for Islands Trust Conservancy.

Chris shared efficient and effective techniques to prioritize ecosystem restoration activities that increase biodiversity and enhance wildlife habitat while reducing wildfire risk. Chris’s main advice is “step lightly”; first with your local footprint (literally where you step on the ground and within your community) and your global footprint (energy usage and climate crisis). A follow-up post on Chris’s presentation will be on our website soon.

After the presentation 61 people stayed for the business meeting: President’s Report, Treasurer’s Report, approval of Bylaw changes, and election of the Board of Directors. GaLTT’s many volunteers were thanked and some recognised for exceptional effort. In addition, Anne Landry and Frank Shoemaker were awarded certificates on becoming “honorary” members for their extraordinary services to the society (see below). And some new volunteers came forward to join the fun and satisfaction of being part of GaLTT!

A big shout-out to volunteer David Vincent of Sleepdeprived Computer Techs, who helped with our AV setup—and with settling our nerves about it.

(We’ll be making a video from the annual activity highlights slideshow that was played at the AGM; watch for a link in upcoming communications.)

Volunteer awards

Our volunteers are at the heart of what we do as an organization, putting in amazing amounts of work to support our activities and initiatives. This year we thanked

  • Don Machell (Trails Committee)
  • Glenys Stuart (Invasive Species Committee)
  • Carol McDougall (Community Engagement Committee)
  • Suzanne Christopher (Community Engagement AND Invasive Species)

We think Glenys got to the truth of it in her statement of thanks: “It has been so easy to achieve supported by a fun group of people who love Gabriola and want to keep it natural. It is wonderful to be able to help.”

Lifetime memberships

The GaLTT Board thanked our two retiring GaLTT board members for their extraordinary services to the Society, recognizing their contributions with a GaLTT “honorary” life membership.

Anne Landry

Anne Landry and her partner Ro moved to Gabriola in 2011. Based upon her life-long love of nature, working as a interpreter in national parks from the east coast to the west coast, as well as the Yukon, Anne joined GaLTT and became a Board member in 2012. Anne volunteered to co-chair the Acquisitions, Covenants & Trail Committee, which led to a number of successful agreements with landholders. Her continuing leadership skills resulted in her becoming President in 2017 (and Past-President in 2019). Anne continued her passion in conservation by being Chair, and Co-Chair, of the Conservation Committee for several years. Anne’s dedicated efforts to build and sustain strong relationships with landholders and organizations such as the Islands Trust Conservancy continue to bring great benefit to Gabriola and GaLTT. Anne has also been instrumental in a systemic review of GaLTT policies to ensure that they meet current standards and expectations.

A smiling woman holds a framed certificate.
A smiling man holds a framed certificate.

Frank Shoemaker

Frank Shoemaker and his wife June moved to Gabriola over 20 years ago. Frank and June love Gabriola’s trails and frequently make use of the island’s several walks. Frank became a GaLTT Board member in 2018 and with a very strong background and credentials as a CPA and CA, evolved to become GaLTT’s Treasurer in 2019. Frank is Chair of the Finance Committee and is also a member of the Conservation Committee. GaLTT’s sound financial situation is very much related to Frank’s strong stewardship of our finances, as well as his leadership in working closely the various Committee Chairs on their budgets and expenditures. Frank is also a member of the Gabriola Woodworkers Guild. His involvement with GaLTT and the Woodworkers has resulted in collaborative efforts in providing benches to the Gabriola community at accessible locations.

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