Life on land
Of the 530 acres of private land, 349 is within a strict conservation covenant held by The Land Conservancy (TLC). This covenant restricts use of the land and any further development. The “compound” area (homestead with greenhouse, studio and out-buildings) provides facilities needed for human life, serviced by a microhydro instillation and solar-generated power. The rest of the acreage is left to nature.
At the northern end of the property is “the White House”. For want of a better name, this house, with its white exterior, is on the electrical grid and has a washer and dryer in the basement. The basement is a supplies area for the property, with sewing room, fix-it room and a workbench. Plus, there is a hot-water heater. The first floor has two bedrooms and one bathroom, a large living room and kitchen with deck. The living room is the property meeting room and the kitchen is available to anyone on the property. Upstairs are two bedrooms. This is the home base for the managers looking after the Maple Bay area of Woodwardia.
On route to the White House, another driveway branches off to the left, also heading to the waterfront. This leads to the Woodwardia headquarters. A parking area is the first real sign of habitation down this lane. Beside the parking area is a wooden fence surrounding the lumber mill. The mill is used for cutting local wood that has not been logged, but is dead, diseased, dying or down trees, and is used on the property. Beside that is a storage building used as a woodshed.
After a few more parking spaces, a gate shows the real entrance to headquarters. Through the gate, on the right is a large greenhouse. Upstairs are two sleeping lofts, enough room for four people, and on the ground level is a rustic kitchen and bathroom. Planning is underway next door for the herbarium and solar instillation. Solar panels, collecting energy to power headquarters, will be placed on the roof of the herbarium. A room inside the herbarium will be insulated from the rest of the building and contain batteries for capturing the energy of the sun.
The main cabin on the property has two and a half storeys. On ground level is a kitchen and bathroom, with an adjoining bedroom large enough for three people. On the second floor is a living room with foldout couch for two, and upstairs is a sleeping loft, also accommodating a maximum of two. A wood storage area is to the south of the cabin, followed by a supplies room. Beside that is a workshop. Above the workshop are two sleeping lofts with private decks. Four people can be accommodated here, with a communal space below with bathroom, kitchen and sitting area.
A couple of little storage sheds lead to the old heritage cabin. It is the first cabin built on the property by the previous owners. When they arrived they lived in a trailer, but gradually built a cabin around it. The trailer is still inside the building.
The other building on the property is the artist’s studio. Perched on a bluff top, this small cabin is ideal for those with creative, artistic minds. Music, painting or writing can be created here. It has a sleeping loft for two.
The property has space for multiple camping spots. Between 20 to 50 people could spread across the rest of Woodwardia in designated low-impact areas. These are walk-in campsites. A maximum of four RVs can be accommodated, too, in the parking area outside the headquarters’ gate. Also in that parking area is a vintage school bus which has been turned into living space, three boats with cabins accommodating at least two people in each, and communal outhouse facilities.
Travelling south along the coastline, there is a hint of a previous homestead, one used up until about a half-century ago, with pasture still evident. Inland, beside a large wetland flooded by beaver dam, is the remains of a small house foundation. This rock wall is the only clue to the family who called this land home. These two properties were Crown grants originally given to World War I veterans in the 1920s. Hunting is illegal on Woodwardia.