The Dam Beaver Poker Paddle, organized and sponsored by the Bouchie Lake Watershed Stewardship Society and supported by the Bouchie-Milburn Community Planning Team, proved to be a great success.
Twenty-five participants took to the water in a variety of self-propelled crafts on Aug. 22. Donnie Johnston in full beaver costume, paddling a kayak decorated as a beaver dam, was recognized as the best-dressed participant.
Participants set out between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to collect a card from each of five stations located strategically around the lakeshore to form a poker hand. Five volunteer station managers supervised the selection of a playing card. It took a little over an hour to paddle the circumference of the lake. Many were surprised to find areas of the lake that they did not know existed from just viewing the lake from the road access. All enjoyed the peace and quiet of the second and third lakes.
Jake Lloyd was the winner of both first and second prizes for the best poker hand with pairs of aces and kings, and Nora McMuldroch took third prize with a pair of jacks.
Many of the participants expressed a desire for the Poker Paddle to become an annual event. All claimed to have enjoyed the day, and many wished they had known about it earlier in order to encourage their friends to join in.
The event raised more than $500 for a new picnic table at the access. The event was also successful in its intent to raise awareness of the annual flooding of the Milburn Lake Public Access and, in particular, the flooding problems experienced this year.
The society continues to press the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to replace the outflow culvert with a larger one, as well as to raise the ground level at the lake access so as to prevent it from flooding every year.
The society would like to thank all the participants for coming out to enjoy the event and also thank all the volunteers who helped make the event possible.
— Submitted by David Law, a director with the Bouchie Lake Watershed Stewardship Society