Hopefully, we can move ahead with some community events this spring. To do some much-needed spring cleaning in the community, the YCA is proposing the following:
Saturday, April 2: Access clean-up on Adelina
Saturday, May 7: Community garage sale
Saturday, May 14: Broom bust at Bald Mountain
Saturday: May 28: Youbou clean-up
You’ll be hearing more details about each day as the time gets closer.
YCA Annual General Meeting
Thanks to all who attended our AGM zoom meeting on Sunday, January 23. We’ll be posting our annual report on our web site and also our tentative 2022 plans. All but one of our board members were re-elected. We thank Spencer Day for his service to the board, as treasurer and at-large board member and for running our election process.
Carved Elk Comes to Life
It started with a post on a Youbou facebook page last fall. Wouldn’t it be great to commemorate our majestic, but geriatric, Bob the elk, with a carved wood statue somewhere in Youbou? Enthusiasm abounded and hands were raised in support. Monica Ash began to turn words into actions. Local carver Roy Anderson has volunteered to carve the elk for free and a stone mason Scott Thomas has come forward to construct a base. Little League Park is currently the leading location for the carving, although that decision is not final. The volunteer group is seeking a donation of cedar wood. To raise funds, some items have been donated for an online auction, plus a GoFundMe page has been set up at https://gofund.me/74a18f39. Once all costs are covered, any excess funds will go to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation to offer continuing help to elk and other wildlife.
Taking Care of Elk
While the elk generate much enthusiasm and excitement in our community, several residents have expressed concern over the number of elk in town and on the roads, causing accidents. Gardeners grow frustrated with elk foraging and build fences to keep out the marauders, which means even more elk walking on the roads. The best way we can care for the elk is to keep our distance and respect them as wild animals.
How can you be a good elk citizen?
• Do not feed the elk. Harvest fruit trees regularly. If you have a carved pumpkin, dispose of it right after Halloween.
• Keep your distance. Like bears, if elk lose their fear of people, they will become even more intrusive in the community, which is ultimately not good for them.
• Secure items that can get tangled in antlers: clotheslines, zip lines, hammocks, swings, or decorative lights, for example.
• Call the BC Conservation Officer Service if you see an injured elk or one that is in distress. Don’t try to help it yourself. The number to call is 1-877-952-7277.
Assessments in Youbou
Our mailboxes in January yielded some rather shocking news. Properties in Youbou have increased in value an average of 59%, according to the BC Assessment. Lakefront property owners experienced a 69% increase, up from an average of $930,000 to $1,556,000, the percentage biggest increase on Vancouver Island. The assessments reflect higher prices paid for properties during 2021. While that may be good news for those wishing to sell, it’s not great for homeowners facing property taxes, which will likely rise with the increased valuation. Property owners had until January 31 to file an appeal, with review of those appeals occurring between February 1 and March 15. Let’s all hope these higher assessments do not automatically translate into higher property taxes.
Sidewalks and Bike Lanes
Wouldn’t it be great to have sidewalks throughout Youbou or a bike lane that protects cyclists riding from Youbou to Lake Cowichan? The Cowichan Valley Regional District is currently developing a Regional Active Transportation Plan, focusing solely on human-powered transportation, such as walking and biking. Go to planyourcowichan.ca and click on the active transportation link. You can take a survey up until February 7 to have an impact on what can happen in Youbou.
Fire Smart in Youbou
No one wants to see a forest fire engulf any town, certainly not Youbou. You can take steps this year to make your property less susceptible to fire. The Cowichan Valley Regional District is partnering with the Municipality of North Cowichan and the Cowichan Tribes to introduce the 2022 FireSmart Kick-Start Project in Youbou. The program conducts residential assessments, offers tips and techniques for reducing fire risk, develops a plan for mitigation, and helps with removing high fire-risk vegetation, creating fire-resistant buffer zones. You’re eligible to get help through this program if you own a home or property in Youbou and are either 65 years or older, or have limited mobility, or are a vulnerable community member, or are of indigenous descent. However, any resident can get more information about making their home more fire-safe at firstname.lastname@example.org
Are You a YCA Member?
The Youbou Community Association is involved in helping community activities happen, such as the monthly newsletter, holiday decorating, and other events throughout the year. While we love our facebook friends, an official family lifetime membership in the organization is just $10 and involves filling out a form. It is a key to knowing what’s going on around Youbou as well as giving you a vote at our annual meetings. We’ll email you our colourful community newsletter every month. To join, reach out to email@example.com
If you’d like to contribute news for the newsletter about a public event happening (or not happening) in or around Youbou and Area I, please send particulars about date, time and place to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also check our web site at youbouyca.com and our Youbou Community Association facebook page for the latest information.
Your YCA Board
Chair: Julia Martinusen
Co-Chair: Lori LaFave
Secretary: Randall Wilson
Treasurer: Steve Watt
Social: Eva Fearon
Publicity: Allan Gott
Membership: Cheryl Morgan
At large: Debbie Smith