BCHBC Chapter Profile: Central Vancouver Island
The Central Vancouver Island (CVI) Chapter has approximately 50 members and serves the central part of Vancouver Island, with members from Victoria, Gabriola, Chemanius, Ladysmith, Nanaimo, Greater Nanaimo, Parksville, Qualicum, Errington, and Coombs.
The CVI Chapter meets on the third Monday of each month at a public location (guests welcome), with a 6 p.m. social and 7 p.m. business meeting. Our meeting location has a kitchen, washrooms, and a large area to host presentations.
The CVI Chapter was formed in 2012, by a strong group of BCHBC enthusiasts that wanted to apply the BCHBC missions to the geographic area, particularly to ensure a voice towards the protection and development of parks and trails. This included collaboration and the development of partnerships with the large Regional District of Nanaimo’s parks and trail strategies, North Cowichan Forest Land Management, Ministry of Forest’s crown lands, local cycling groups, and the Trans Canada Trail (TCT) and Cowichan Valley Trail management groups.
West of Nanaimo sits a large track of Crown Land. In keeping with the key initiatives, horse trailer parking was always an issue. Members of this Chapter were able to apply for and secure a Section 57 grant from the Crown to develop a public horse trailer parking area. Along with this development process, this Chapter was able to secure grant funding from Horse Council in 2014 and the horse trailer parking area was completely cleared of all debris and broom. This is a large area that allows for camping – complimented by trail maps of this area, riders are free to come and go as they wish.
This Chapter was proud to be able to partner with the Endurance Riders of BC and the BC Competitive Trail Riders to host an event. This marked a significant milestone in the collaboration efforts as a first to see these three strong trail dependant groups altogether for a weekend. Topping off this effort was a working partnership with the Regional District of Nanaimo on the re-routing of the TCT in this area in order to now safely enable equestrian to access the trails along the TCT route, where for years, they were unsafe for horses. Chapter members took this to heart and spent hundreds of hours clearing trails, mapping and marking trails. In October of this year, these maps and marked trails proved invaluable when Search and Rescue had to search this area for a lost person.
We are also fortunate to have many local parks and trails throughout the area, which provide day riding; North Cowichan Forests lands such as Grace Road, Fuller Lake, Mt. Richards, Maple Mountain, Mt. Prevost, Copper Canyon, Stocking Lake. We also span areas such as Englishman River Park, Little Mountain, Cowichan Valley Trail connector from Ladysmith to Spruston Road, TCT off of Nanaimo Lakes, Gabriola Island trail systems.
CVI Chapter hosts a monthly ride, giving members an opportunity to participate in group rides. Chapter members also enjoy fun raising. In 2014, we hosted a Poker Ride at Takala Ranch and a Poker/Potluck at Spruston Ride Site. Included in the fundraisers was the sale of raffle tickets for a chance to win three fabulous prizes, graciously donated by local businesses. All proceeds will go towards trail maintenance and trail equipment as per the Gaming License requirements.
The core focus of this Chapter was to ensure collaboration, sharing of information and the promotion of horse activities in support of the Provincial strategies. We strongly advocate transparencies with a public presence and sharing initiatives. In order to complement the large Provincial BCHBC Facebook and Provincial BCHBC web site, this Chapter maintains Facebook site and a Web site for local information, open to all. Our initiatives have been commended by local government agencies, who strongly support a local presence for ease of access to information.
Central Vancouver Island Chapter Executive:
Vice Chair: Lynn DeVries
Secretary: Brenda Cormack
Treasuer/Membership Coord: Gina Neal
Board Alternate: Jim Fiddick