Welcome to the GNS web page! It is under construction. Please email corrections, suggestions, and new material (photos as jpeg attachments; under 200K, please; please date event and identify people if you can) to Tim. (For the moment, though, aesthetics take second place to content.)
Bienvenu au site SNG! Il est en construction. SVP envoyer par courriel des corrections, suggestions et du nouveau matériel (les photos comme attachements jpeg, toujours moins de 200KO svp, et svp identifier le gens et les dates d'événements si vous le pouvez) au Tim. (Pour l'instant, cependant, l'esthétique prend la deuxième place au contenu.)

President's Report 2011 / Rapport du président 2011

I've just come in from a spot of trail-clearing and am happy to report that there are not too many trees down across the trails. We'll have to see what the winds do during hunting season, but with luck we won't have much more to do than picking up and ribboning. Except for the bridges. The summer's storms (and Irene wasn't the worst) have washed all the bridges on Errol Brook and other brooks many yards downstream and they've had to be rebuilt. Ed Markwell will be calling on us in November for the final clearing and ribbonning.

Then we hope there will be a big freeze before the snow falls, because the summer's excessive rain has left most trails soggy underfoot.

Last year's season started with trail clearing by Richard Bourassa, Jean-Paul Clermont, Kip Cobbett, Bill Eakin, Tom Kovacs, Jean-Pierre Lefebvre, Nancy Layton, Guy Lord, Ed and Francine Markwell, Wayne McTavish, Tim Merrett, Mary Ann Mongeau, Dave Pascal, Tanya Rhodes, Joe Stairs and David Stanger.

Some 70 people benefited from the resulting trails and enjoyed outings during the year, many several times. As well as Ski Day, Fun Ski and a Nature Walk on our own trails, GNS was welcomed for a fun ski on the Cedarville trails, and for nature walks at our traditional locales (Ile du marais / Katevale Marsh and Marlington Bog) as well as a well-attended walk on the land of the late Michael Dunn, newly acquired by the Quebec Ministry of Natural Resources for administration by the Ministry of the Environment, Parks sector---although the ultimate management body for the property has yet to be defined.

In addition to our scheduled outings, GNS sponsored a couple of extras this year. Bill Eakin and Michael Hayes organized a kayak trip on Cherry River in response to suggestions made by GNS members. They have written it up elsewhere in this newsletter. Penny and Wayne McTavish hosted an informative walk on the Inverugie golf course followed by a delicious soup-and-bread-and-coffee-and- cookies lunch in the GNS toonie-basket tradition. See below for this, too.

In the spring, an ad-hoc task force consisting of Bill Eakin and Heather and Tom Kovacs prepared a detailed survey and circulated it among GNS members seeking feedback on our activities. The headings were (I) Outings (A. Barbara Clift Ski Day, B. Seasonal Walks), (II) GNS Speaker Events, (III) GNS Newsletter, and (IV) Member Participation. The 18 respondents (25% of our members: this is a high level of response---thank you!) made many useful suggestions which we have started to follow up, especially where you offered your own time and involvement. I hope you have noticed some differences.

We have the pleasing news that Ile du marais, the wonderful bird and nature sanctuary in Little Lake Magog, which GNS co-founded and which we visit on an outing almost every year, has reconstituted itself with a new and younger executive and the very welcome involvement of members of the local community. Jean-Pierre Lefebvre, who has represented GNS on the Ile du marais board for the past seven years, has been instrumental in effecting this transformation, as well as in organizing repair and replacement of much of the walkways on the causeway leading to the island. Ile du marais continues to depend heavily on the generosity of its members.

The Barbara Clift Ski Day, last Feb. 5, brought 28 skiers and 4 snowshoers onto the GNS trails and more than twice as many out to Nancy Amos' usual scrumptious dinner and John Boynton's usual elegant and intellectually challenging table centrepieces. The 2012 Ski Day, our annual highlight, will take place a week earlier this year, on Jan. 28.

The GNS season started last year with a delightful talk, "Murder for a Living", by Louise Penny on Nov. 27. GNS shared this event with Studio Georgeville. The partners were happy with the event, so this year we are co-sponsoring a talk on "Raptors of the Eastern Townships" by Bob Carswell. This is on Nov. 19, a Saturday afternoon at 4:00 p.m., when darkness is starting but we are not quite ready for supper. Thanks to Barb Wolf who has ably taken charge of the annual GNS lecture.

All these activities reflect strenuous efforts on the part of the GNS executive, who are always happy to bring you events which are fun and informative. We owe them thanks and lots of attendence. And we owe you thanks for your enthusiastic support and many suggestions. This newsletter includes membership and waiver forms for your continuing membership. Please fill and return them early and think about who else might like to join (or re-join) GNS, especially among the younger generations.

Photos from our year's outings can be found on the GNS website. It has a complicated URL, but you can also find it by Googling "GNS SNG".

I hope to see you at many GNS activities this year!

Tim Merrett