Walk Leader: Judy Williams
Text by: Judy Williams
Photographs by: Carol Topalian
Our walkers were dogged by an icy early-May wind, but that didn’t squelch their enthusiasm. Starting from Pacific Spirit Regional Park’s Acadia parking lot, they made their way along the foreshore to verdant, sword-fern-graced Trail 3.
Along the way, they filled in ethnobotanical quizzes that tested their knowledge of native and non-native plants, and how the First Nations and the early pioneers used these plants medicinally and for food, clothing, shelter, bedding, weapons, fishing, and winter sustenance. The hikers then descended along Northwest Marine Drive to the parking lot, where those with the most correct answers won a t-shirt or poster.
Participants also learned about the colourful political and social history of naturism at Wreck Beach, North America’s largest clothing-optional beach. As Chair of the Wreck Beach Preservation Society, I shared the many struggles naturists have waged against foreshore development, slope deforestation, and proposals such as roads, sea walls, ferry terminals, truck bridges, and marinas, which would have destroyed the beach and its precious surf-smelt spawning beds.