Tuesday, April 30, 2013


The Cape Breton Island Hoppers Volkssport Club has been invited to attend two Wellness Fairs in June so that we can promote our walking activity and to promote an active life style here in Cape Breton.

The first event is a wellness clinic at Victoria Park, 04 June 2013, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm.

The Cape Breton Regional Municipality has invited us to attend their Wellness Fair at Centre 200.

The Fair is Wed. 05 June 2013, noon to 5:00 pm.

This is a great opportunity to help your club and to meet potential new members.

We will also be able to present our new promotional banner and logo at these events and if you have not seen the banner then at least drop into one of the fairs to check it out

Elsie and Joe have been attending various function across Cape Breton and the CBRM area including the Farmer's Market to promote walking for Fun with the Island Hoppers!

How about taking a few minutes or an hour or so to help out so that we can keep our walking activity going on the island for another 16 or more years!

We need volunteers for these events.

Contact Elsie at  joeandelsie@ns.sympatico.ca  or call 562-3117

The more the merrier!

Elsie Buck, President CBIH

Let's go for a walk:
Registration: 1:30 pm
Walk Start Time: 2:00 pm
Start/Finish: 380 Esplanade Sydney, Cambridge Suites
Distance(s) 5 and 10K walk events
Go to Events Calendar for further information:

Saturday, April 20, 2013

BAILLE ARD TRAIL: "New dog bylaw"

Baille Ard Recreation Association will be making a presentation to council in May.

There are two arguments to be made:

First, that the municipality should be open to accepting a lease from the NS Department of Community Services for the Baille Ard Nature Trails Lands with the continued stewardship of the Baille Ard Recreation Association.
Second, that the CBRM should support the volunteer stewardship efforts of the Baille Ard Recreation Association by extending the enforcement of the Dog Control bylaw to the Baille Ard Nature Trails.

We feel that the effect of the presentation will be greater if stakeholders and partners in the Baille Ard Nature Trails are part of it.  I hope that someone from ACAP, the Southend Community Centre, CBVRSB, CBRM Trails and CB Island Hoppers can help emphasize that the trails have a   value to our community that includes but goes well beyond a walking trail and that value should not be limited for the benefit of any one group of users.

Will you be part of the presentation?


Council is considering whether they should amend the new dog bylaw to exclude Baille Ard.  There is support for this on council.  I propose sending this letter to councilors.  I have tried to be rational and take the high road but finished by saying that our group is not interested in a limited vision for the trails and in trying to manage an off lead dog park.  Am I correct?


To Mayor Clarke and CBRM Councilors,

I am proud to have been part of a group that has dedicated so much time and effort over the last twenty-five years towards the development of a much visited trail system winding through a natural forested setting in the South End of Sydney.  This option to spend time in a natural setting whether walking or jogging; alone or in company of family and friends; with or without a dog goes far to enhance the quality of our lives.   This is a place within easy reach of many in our community where we can be active in all seasons and fill our lungs with the rich, clean air of an old growth forest. 

Our group has nurtured many working relationships and benefitted from the support of all levels of government, NGO’s, businesses and service organizations.  We have mapped the routes for trails and sought funding and groups to build them.  We have raised funds and organized the building of  bridges and the purchase and placement of signage and benches.  We have done the hard physical labour to maintain the trails and improve them.  We have welcomed and provided nature based experiences for many individuals, families and groups.  We continue to develop and present many curriculum based activities for our CBVRSB students.  We are about to embark on a particularly exciting project in partnership with ACAP, CBU and the schools of the CBVRSB,.  We continue to work with the CBRM Recreation Department and CBRM trails organizations to enhance the trails experience in our community.    

Baille Ard Recreation Association Mission

Our mission is the continued development, maintenance and promotion of the nature trails in the wooded Baille Ard area in the South End of Sydney.  We will promote the trails as a venue for health and wellness through outdoor activity.  Working with community partners and schools, we will seek to educate both children and adults regarding the Washbrook Watershed and to promote a sense of stewardship of nature.                     

In advance of your consideration of any amendment to the proposed new dog bylaw that might impact the Baille Ard Nature Trails, please factor in the following points:

.. CBRM is currently negotiating with the NS Department of Community Services for a lease on the Baille Ard Nature Trails lands that we believe is premised on our vision and mission.

..The Baille Ard Recreation Association has acted as the volunteer stewards of the Baille Ard Nature Trails for 20 years and worked for their creation for years before that.
.. A large number of partners and funders including the CBRM have contributed time, effort and money towards the vision of a community asset defined by its educational, recreational and wellness value to the community at large. **
.. Many volunteers have given countless hours and days towards the building, maintenance and promotion of the trails.
.. Our association has led the drive to have the Baille Ard Nature Trails accepted by our provincial government as a valuable and legitimate asset for our community.
.. It is the Baille Ard Recreation Association that accepts liability for the Baille Ard Nature Trails
.. Dogs and their responsible owners who keep their dogs on lead and clean up after their dogs have always been welcome on the Baille Ard Nature Trails.

.. an exclusion from enforcement would make the Baille Ard Nature Trails the de facto 'CBRM Off Lead Dog Park'.  Many people have stopped using the Baille Ard Nature Trails because of off lead dogs.  The identification of the trails as ‘off lead’ could only increase the number of off lead dogs and continue to exclude many from our community from the enjoyment of the trails.
..The Baille Ard Recreation Association would be left with responsibility for the upkeep and maintenance of the trails along with the problem of dealing with not only current but any number of new off lead dogs.  We would have no authority and in many cases little influence.
.. We are convinced that a growing group of off lead dog owners drawn to the Baille Ard Nature Trails would not be amenable to limiting their choice of time to use the trails and where they would go on the trails.   Once again who would have authority to manage that  situation and accept liability for issues that arise?
.. In this environment, the types of programs and community uses that we are providing and envisage for the trails as part of our mission would be severely limited due to our concern for participants and potential liability.

** Partners and Donors include:    ACAP Cape Breton, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, Nova Scotia Health and Wellness, Sydney Credit Union, Steel City Credit Union, CBU, NSCC, Southend Community Centre, Canadian Government, Canadian Armed Forces, CBRM, Nova Scotia Community Services, Cape Breton Roadrunners, Cape Breton Island Hoppers, Cape Breton Fiddlers Run, CBRM Trails Group, Rotary Club of Sydney, CBVRSB, many private donors, Old Sydney Historical Society and others.

In conclusion, we have enjoyed a positive and very supportive relationship with CBRM.  We sincerely hope that Council understands that the enforcement of the Dog Bylaw provisions on the Baille Ard Nature Trails is part of their commitment to support our volunteer efforts.  The position in which an exemption from the bylaw would put our association would be unfair and untenable.  Moreover, if bylaw enforcement is not provided, we feel we would no longer be in a position to accomplish our mission and we would have to reconsider our role.  This would of course be with great regret.


David Gabriel, for the Baille Ard Recreation Association

Thursday, April 18, 2013


An inspiring walk event through the Whitney Pier area with its many older churches that represent the many cultures that made up the Pier area during the years when the making of steel had been the prime industry of Sydney. 
Do you remember the red glow that dominated the night sky?

The Island Hoppers present a walk event we have called:

"Churches of Whitney Pier:"

Walk Leader: Elsie Buck

Start and Finish Point:

Holy Redeemer Parish, 1135 Victoria Road, Whitney Pier B1N 1L3 

Date: Sunday 21 April

Time: Registration begins @1:30pm
        : Walk starts @ 2:00pm

Walk Distances: 5/10K

Trail Rating: 2A / 2B

This is an excellent opportunity to invite a friend to walk with you and to introduce them to walking for fun, fitness and friendship!

From a story on Facebook, an account of walking with friends and what volkssports are all about: Click on the link below and pass on to a friend.

Travel Writer Rants and Raves: Walking and traveling friends never change:


Tuesday, April 02, 2013


Canada Day 2012 Petersfield Provincial Park


Petersfield Provincial Park

1188 Westmount Road, B1R 2J6

Sunday 7 April @ 2:00 pm

Registration begins@ 1:30 pm

Walk Distance: 5/10k

Trail Rating 2A

Walk Leader: Elsie Buck

Volunteer With Parks Canada for Louisbourg 300 celebrations

 Parks Canada is looking for volunteers to help us celebrate Louisbourg 300 in 2013. Louisbourg 300 celebrates the founding of Louisbourg as a settlement and the French colony of Île Royale (Cape Breton) in 1713. Many events and activities are being planned throughout the summer season. Don't miss your chance to be part of celebrating this special year!
We will be hosting information sessions for potential volunteers in both Sydney and Louisbourg. During these sessions we will be going through the various events planned and the volunteer opportunities that will be available.

Louisbourg - Monday April 8 6:30-8:00 at the Louisbourg Fire Hall, 7485 Main St.

Sydney - Tuesday April 9 6:30-8:00 the Lyceum, 225 George St.

Refreshments will be served. We hope to see you there!
 Bénévoles recherchés!
 Parcs Canada est à la recherche de bénévoles pour aider à célébrer Louisbourg 300 en 2013. Lévénement Louisbourg 300 commémore la fondation de la ville de Louisbourg et de la colonie française de lÎle Royale (Cap-Breton) en 1713. Toutes sortes dactivités seront organisées tout au long de lété. Voilà une occasion unique de prendre part aux célébrations de cette année spéciale!
À lintention des bénévoles potentiels, nous avons planifié des séances dinformation à Sydney et à Louisbourg.

Louisbourg - Mardi, le 8 avril, de 18 h 30 à 20 h Poste dincendie de Louisbourg, 7485, rue Main
Sydney- Lundi, le 9 avril, de 18 h 30 à 20 h Lyceum, 225, rue George

 Au cours de ces séances, nous décrirons les diverses activités prévues et les occasions de bénévolat qui seront offertes.
Des rafraîchissements seront servis. Au plaisir de vous y rencontrer!
Louisbourg Lighthouse and members of CBIH