Magic of Grindstone Island

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THE MAGIC OF GRINDSTONE ISLAND

BY: MELANIE SHAW, LEAD STEWARD OF THE FRIENDS OF GRINDSTONE ISLAND

As a small child, I had a fascination with Grindstone Island. Growing up in Hillsborough, we would head to Fundy for family vacations and I would often find myself staring at the island, completely mesmerised. I knew one day I would get there.

In 2015, I was on Facebook and came across a page called “Friends of Grindstone Island”. I was so excited to see that I wasn’t alone in my passion for the island. I learned that the island, and its resident populations of migratory birds, were protected through a conservation easement held by the Nature Trust of New Brunswick and monitored by a group of volunteer stewards who worked with the Nature Trust, called the “Friends of Grindstone Island”.

I was given the opportunity to join the stewardship group on a monitoring trip to the island in 2016. I couldn’t believe I was finally going to get there. We left from Harvey dam on zodiac boats with the Tri-County Ground Search and Rescue. The waters around the island are known to be quite rough, so we were happy to be in the zodiacs. When we first arrived onto the island, I was hit with the quiet, untouched peacefulness.

We worked hard that weekend, completing a botanical inventory, cleaning up garbage and marine debris, and surveying the birds who were still present after the breeding season. I've been involved in the group ever since.

I am now fortunate enough to be the lead Steward of the Friends of Grindstone Island and coordinated a recent monitoring trip to the island at the end of August.

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The Friends of Grindstone Island work throughout the year to spread awareness about the easement, the migratory birds populations, and the natural history of the island. We set up information booths at events in the Greater Moncton Area, such as the Sportsmen show and the Dieppe Market to talk to people about the conservation of the island and the work the Nature Trust does. We also sell tickets for trips to the island, with permission, where all money goes to the Nature Trust.

If you have ever had the thought to get involved with a conservation group, it is a great opportunity to become closer to our natural spaces. We welcome everyone to join the Friends of Grindstone Island and get involved!

For more information, contact our Stewardship Coordinator, Bethany Young at bethany.young@ntnb.org or 506-457-2398.

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It is important to note that visits to the island require written permission from the Nature Trust and all visits are prohibited between

May 15th and

August 15th to protect the nesting populations of migratory birds which include great blue herons, black-backed gulls, double-crested cormorants, and others. The purpose of the conservation easement and the stewardship group are to protect this important bird habitat.