Help make the Bowen trails even better with BITS

Saturday July 21 will see BITS leading trail maintenance on Handloggers.

Now that our organization is a year old, members of Bowen Island Trail Society (BITS) are having for some foot-pounding, pedal-pumping, branch-cutting fun. 

The society is dedicated to enhancing our island trail system, whether for safety reasons or pure enjoyment, and has a solid membership of around 40 people. Our board includes president Alicia Hoppenrath, vice-president Phil Osborne, treasurer Bev Attfield, chair Chuck Venhuizen and secretary Jessica Slater. 

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Some of our projects include helping rebuild a bridge on Handloggers, and updating signage on the main Mt. Gardner trail. 

New this year, BITS has started hosting monthly trail socials on the third Saturday of every month to pique community interest in our society and the Bowen trail systems. 

Our May social saw Chuck Venhuizen lead a reconnaissance up Valhalla Ridge Trail. Braving Bowen’s answer to the Grouse Grind, participants were treated to views of Howe Sound and the Georgia Strait (once they huffed and puffed their way to the top). 

Last month, Dangerous Dan Cowan (godfather of extreme mountain biking), who’s built many of the mountain bike trails on Bowen, led a ride down “The Fun” trail on Mt. Gardner. A couple of us enjoyed the introduction to one of the more extreme sports on Bowen. 

One of the exciting developments for BITS this year was signing a partnership with the Crown back in May. This means that we can (legally) do trail work on Bowen’s Crown land! 

Which brings us to our upcoming social. This Saturday, July 21, we invite you to join a rewarding afternoon of trail maintenance on Mt. Gardner. It might sound like large-scale yard work, but how often do you get to do yard work with a dozen of your closest (or perhaps newest) friends?  

We’ll be meeting at the Laura Road trailhead at 1:30 p.m. and we expect to be on the trail until 4 p.m. Bring your heavy-duty pruners and clippers (hand saws, rakes and shovels if you’ve got them). After a brief volunteer orientation we will divide into teams. Each team will tackle a specific trail section, ensuring that underbrush and branches encroaching the trail are cut back and branches and loose rocks, etc on the trail are removed. 

For more information contact Jessica Slater at 604-999-8073. Come out to help improve our trails and join BITS. Membership for this year is free! 

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