written by Robert Kennedy
Approximately a year and a half ago the LPLT was approached by Trans Northern Pipeline (TNP) who wanted to perform remedial work on their refined petroleum product pipeline which passes through the Kennedy tract. The steel pipeline is 62 years old. TNP believes the pipeline has an indefinite lifetime as long as it is properly maintained. A device called a pig having many sensors, is put through the pipeline once every 5 years to look for potential defect issues. The last time the pig detected two small dents in the pipeline which were approximately 50 metres apart in the middle of the wetland. The only access to these two locations is from County Rd 25. Prior to starting the work, Doug McRae and lawyer Malcolm Ruby sat down with Trans Northern to express concerns related to accessing the wetland with heavy equipment. LPLT’s main concern was the timing of the work so that it would have minimal effect on breeding birds and other wildlife as well as water quality and the possibility of the introduction of invasive species.
Trans Northern started the work in August 2017 and it took 5 weeks to complete. The work consisted of building the 700 m wood panel access road into the wetland from Cty Rd 25 with larger wood staging areas around the two repair sites. The area is laced with many streams which required the construction of dams to isolate the digs where repairs were going to be made. The dams consisted of long 3m diameter rubber like tubes which were filled with water to give them a flexibility which allowed them to follow the contours of the land. With these dams in place, TNP then pumped out any water inside the isolated dammed off area. This allowed them to then excavate and expose the existing pipeline in the dry and do the repair work. Most of the repairs consisted of a steel sleeve being welded to the exterior of the pipe thereby reinforcing it in the areas of defect. Once the repairs were completed, the trenches were backfilled and all the materials and construction equipment were removed from the site. All that remains is the exposed earth where the access road and staging areas were located. The vegetation is already growing back quickly and probably by this time next year the disturbed area will not be visibly noticeable.
It should be noted that Trans Northern had to obtain a number of government environmental permits which set out strict guidelines for the construction process and environmental controls to protect water quality, flora and fauna. Many thanks to Doug McRae who represented LPLT and Malcolm Ruby who generously donated his legal experience and his office for meetings with Trans Northern.
written by Gary Bugg
Visitors to the Lone Pine Marsh can now take advantage of the new viewing platform which was completed in early June 2017. Made possible through Trillium Foundation funding, the construction began with hired installation of four concrete base columns in 2016. The wooden structure was started in May 2017 and features a 10’ by 10’ Trex covered viewing platform which is raised more than six feet above marsh shoreline. At this height it is possible to view all parts of the marsh.
Construction was carried out by volunteers Tim Whitehouse, Rob Kennedy, James Munn, Doug McRae, Jim Moore and Gary Bugg. Special thanks go to Bill Wilson for his design advice and to Marg Fleming for co-ordinating the base installation. Thanks also to Paul Steels and Helmut Enns for the use of their generators.
by Grant Elliott
In April 2017, 30 Grade 9 students from Cobourg Collegiate Institute ventured into the marsh for a full day of work, education and fun sponsored by the Lone Pine Marsh Board and a grant from the Trillium Fund. The weather was hot and sunny and made for an amazing day to be outside and enjoy spring. During their time at the marsh, the students participated in 5 workshops which included: installing 15 bird boxes; planting 200 trees throughout the property; examining water quality and discovering water borne species in the marsh; identifying a variety of invasive species that need controlling such as dog strangling vine, buckthorn and Manitoba maple; and finally learning about grassland management to encourage bird species to return to the area.
Prior to the event, students built the bird houses in the wood shop at CCI and then installed them at the marsh. Hard work quickly turned to excitement as the students saw birds begin to take over the boxes before even completing the installations. Various other sightings of wildlife happened during the day: deer wandered through the area, numerous species of birds circled the birdboxes, and a garter snake was captured and subsequently released. The students found this educational day exciting and challenging but intermixed with a lot of fun.
written by Paulette Hebert
When asked to write an article about my activities as a volunteer property steward I thought the timing could not have been better. The end of the month will mark one year since I first began monitoring at the Wilkinson property. I have watched the land and the life forms that depend on it evolve and thrive through an entire cycle of the seasons.
I head out to the Wilkinson property once per month to check up on it. I look for signs of vandalism or misuse and make observations about general conditions, changes, wildlife, and plants. I am fascinated by the endlessly changing palette of blooming flowers. Even the chorus of birds and frogs evolves as each species takes its turn to dominate the soundscape. On each visit I find something I have never seen before. I bring a bag full of my favorite field guides to help me identify the new and mysterious things I discover.
The weather is always beautiful, because I plan it that way. Today the leaves are beginning to change. It is aster and goldenrod season: gold, white and purple. As a property monitor, I get to pretend I am a photographer. The plants are such cooperative subjects.
Only on the windiest days do they refuse to stand still. I photograph each blooming species and identify it in my notes. I don’t even try to capture the birds and mammals although I do have a few mediocre shots of wood frogs and leopard frogs.
Birds are always the first thing I notice when I arrive. Birds love to advertise themselves with their songs and being able to recognize bird songs has been an invaluable monitoring tool. The chickadees and an eastern phoebe always greet me first. And then, the blue jays complain and alert the rest of the inhabitants, which is probably why I seldom see any of the larger mammals. I know they are there however, because they leave their tracks in the muddy trail or at the water’s edge where they come to drink: coyotes, white-tailed deer, weasels, raccoons, beaver, muskrat and, of course, the resident black bear.
Regular monitoring increases the chances of detecting rare and vulnerable species that may live at the property. In the spring, I was lucky to spot a big old Blanding’s turtle among the multitude of painted turtles that live in the swamp. It has remained elusive ever since. Regular visits also allow me to keep ahead of unwanted invading species which I remove and/or report.
I have a favorite spot at the Wilkinson property. Deep in the hemlock forest there is a fallen tree on which I like to sit to watch, listen and feel this beautiful place. I take stock of what I have learned, take some notes and wonder at the privilege I have been given to be a steward of this land.