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October 2009

Garbage 'R Us!

Clean-up crew + dog! Our 2nd annual Fall Clean-up Campaign - i.e. Adopt-a-Road - was amazingly successful...or distressing, depending on your point of view.

On Saturday, Oct. 17, we had a fabulous turn-out of volunteers on the Tammy's Cove side of the lake. The weather cooperated with a sunny, autumn chill in the air.

After a quick recon of the entire road the weekend before, we decided to focus on the most obvious area of trash, the forest surrounding the dumpsters. It soon became obvious that we had hit the motherlode of ersatz garbage! (Above: Tammy's Road crew plus Mandy!)

Over the course of an hour, the 11 volunteers rounded up 22 full bags of trash. Bears, raccoons, and other critters had dragged garbage deep into the forest. In fact, we went in as far as we could before the foliage became impenetrable.

On the other side of the lake, the amount of trash was far less distressing. The few volunteers on hand gathered up 2 bags of garbage from Barnett's Drive and Barney's Blvd. Unfortunately, we have no volunteers on Miller Lake Road per se, so it did not get cleaned.

Clean-up crew + dog! Although the trash collection did not have the variety of content we saw in the Spring, there were still plenty of recyclables in the remnants - pop cans, wine bottles, plastic bottles, and even batteries, a real no no, particularly in such a sensitive environmental area.

It is painfully obvious that our group and the Municipality needs to reinforce the importance of using the bins properly. If they are, in fact, "bear-proof", there is no excuse for our pristine environment to be covered with litter, and cottagers should be recycling at Ferndale or taking their recyclables home with them. (Above: Part of the haul)

After the trash-a-thon, Barb and George Chester kindly invited everyone back to their place for some excellent coffee and muffins, much appreciated on a cool morning.

Thanks to all of our volunteers for making this such a successful community enterprise. Our next Adopt-a-Road project is in the Spring.

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2009 - Saturday, July 11

This year's meeting covered a wide array of local concerns, from tax rates to trash, from bins to bears, from water-testing to road-paving, with a few friendly snakes thrown in for good measure!

Mayor Milt McIver Mayor Milt McIver (pictured right) kindly took the time to get us up to speed on recent tax increases and their necessity. The Municipality has seen a drop in revenues directly affected by the recession, namely the depressed value of recyclable materials in the current market. The decrease in revenue unfortunately collided with the additional cost - $1.3 million – that the Municipality has invested in landfill site upgrades over the last 3 years.

There was some discussion of Council's plan to remove dumpsters from public sites, such as Tammy's Cove Road. Apparently, this is not a done deal, and two public meetings have been scheduled for further input. (Dates are noted above.)

Residents informed the Mayor of increased local truck traffic related to construction on East Road and the danger it poses. This traffic primarily affects Barnett's Drive, where dump trucks frequently speed, resulting in the death of one family pet so far. It was suggested that a proscribed, safer route be assigned to construction crews.

The Mayor also spoke about the Municipality being turned down for funding for renovations at the Lion's Head Arena, and the approval of a new health unit facility in Tobermory.

Reptiles at Risk volunteer and 'friends' After the Mayor's presentation, Gerry Fischer brought up water-testing of Miller Lake. Gerry has been involved in previous tests in conjunction with the Ministry of the Environment, but the lake has not been tested for e-coli since 2007. Since the MoE no longer funds these tests, the executive board will investigate the cost of private testing.

Bears were another concern. In fact, the Ministry of Natural Resources representative who was going to present at the meeting had to cancel due to the number of bear encounters he had to deal with! Hmmmm.. It was noted that, since the cancellation of the Spring bear hunt, statistics show a five-fold increase in bear incidents. It was suggested that the Group encourage reinstatement of the hunt.

As things wrapped up, the MLCG pledged a donation of $100 from Group funds to the Lion's Head Hospital.

After the meeting, members of Reptiles at Risk (pictured right) arrived with several well-trained snakes and turtles. Although they were late for the meeting (they got lost!), the timing worked out perfectly. While the Group socialized in the sunny outdoors as burgers grilled on the barbecue, the RaR folks offered excellent information about reptile protection programs, including 'hands-on' instructions for members who knew a good snake when they saw one! The most fascinating moment – watching a rat snake (you know what they like to eat!) climb the exterior wall of the Municipal building. I will now skip all the obvious gags about snakes, rats, and municipal offices.

You can read the AGM minutes in their complete form by clicking here.

Garbage Galore - Our Adopt-a-Road Spring Clean-up!

May 2009

George & Barb looking glamorous! In spite of the blustery, wet weather, our ADOPT-A-ROAD volunteers tackled the trash-littered terrain with tenacity!

George and Barbara Chester (pictured right) risked rain - and bad taste in fashion - to spruce up their section of Tammy's Cove Road. The area around the garbage bins was especially messy due to bears having dragged abandoned garbage bags off into the forest. It is imperative that all of us use the bins correctly to avoid bear problems. If the bins are full when you get there, do NOT leave your garbage sitting beside it. Take it with you!!!

Randy Gulliver and his guest, Josh Payne, worked the other end of Tammy's Cove Road. Although the roadside looked relatively clean, the more they examined it, the more trash they found. (See photo below)

Maggie and Bonnie Vaivods scoped Barnett's Drive, and then on May 10 - with better weather - the entire troupe tackled Barney's Blvd.

In total, 8 full bags of trash were collected!

We are hoping that, in the Fall, more members will take the time to join us and help to keep our natural wonders wondrous!

Along Tammy's Cove Road

2009 - New Web Site Features

We want the new web site for the Miller Lake Community Group to be a valuable resource for its members!

Here are some of the new features we have added:

If you have comments or suggestions for the site, or would like to add some photos, contact Randy Gulliver.

Miller Lake Community - Adopt-a-Road Clean-up 2008!

Join us for our first annual Fall clean-up day on October 4, 2008 (Rain-date October 5). This is the association's opportunity to show its care for our beautiful community.
Volunteer teams will walk three routes around Miller Lake collecting all garbage within site of the road. Bring work-gloves and a garbage bag. In future, equipment will be provided, but our first event requires a bit more improv!

Thank you and come out and support our community!