Presentation to RM of St Clements Mayor and Council

On December 14 Taylor and Peggy from Debwendon, Darren from Gull Lake Ratepayers Association and David from Gull Lake Basin Management Board presented to the Mayor and Council of the RM of St Clements on the Stakeholder Consultant Report re the proposed Gull Lake gravel quarry south of Stead Road. The main recommendation of the report was for the RM of St. Clements to work collaboratively with the RM of Alexander and the Province of Manitoba to conduct a Cumulative Impact Assessment on the whole Gull Lake area to determine any impacts from gravel quarrying in this area. The report also documented the significant outcry from the residents and cottagers of Gull Lake which the RM must take into consideration.

If you would like to see the consultant report or the presentations please go to, scroll down and click on View More News. Scroll down again to Gull Lake Quarry Stakeholder Engagement Consultant Report. Click on Read More. Click on YouTube channel in the 3rd paragraph. It’s the 2nd video from the left. The consultants give their report at about 5:27, the delegations start at 23:40 and Peggy is second and starts at 26:40 minutes in. Taylor comes right after Peggy, and then Darren Babiuk from Gull Lake.

You can still have your say regarding this issue by going to the EngageMB website and doing the Gull Lake Land Use Survey: Gull Lake Land Use | EngageMB

The Director for Integrated Planning is encouraging as many people as possible to participate in this survey. It only takes a few minutes of your time and will give the government an idea of the interest in and the concerns around the gravel pits at Gull Lake and the Brokenhead Wetland Interpretive Trail. Based on the response, further consultations will be planned, but they need to know the interest and this is our chance to let them know. Please also share widely. Thanks. See also the attached info sheet on the issues.

The Minister of Agriculture and Resource Development has received communications from various members of the Gull Lake Community identifying concerns with the Gull Lake area. In response, Honourable Ralph Eichler has launched a public engagement to identify land use interests, values and concerns in the Gull Lake area.

The intent of this engagement is to gain an understanding of concerns and priorities from the Gull Lake Community. Please share this opportunity with others who may be interested in participating.

If you are new to EngageMB, you will need to create a quick profile on EngageMB ( to participate.

To read Peggy’s comments to Mayor and Council, please click here: Debwendon Comments on Engagement Report for RM of St Clements on proposed new gravel pit_Dec 14 2021.

To read Background information on Gull Lake issues, please click here: Notes on Gull Lake Area consultation_v.2.


The final report by the consultants has now been completed and it is now available on the RM of St. Clements website:

The report will be presented to Council at their regular council meeting on Tuesday, December 14 at 2:00 pm. (They might not get to the actual report until a little later on in the agenda.)

The RM has told us that all residents interested in observing the Council meeting may do so online and a link will be available on their website on the day of the meeting to watch the Council Meeting live.

Once Council receives the report and presentation from the Consultants, those registered (stakeholders only for now) will be allowed to present. At a later date Council may choose to have a larger public information session and open it up to all residents to present if they wish.  At this point the report is just being presented to Council as information.  The intent at this time is to present the final report from the Consultant and in fairness to the those specific groups who were consulted, the RM is providing an opportunity to also present.

Let me know if you have any comments on the report, or you can send comments directly to the RM at Taylor Galvin, Director and myself will be attending and presenting at the Council meeting on behalf of Debwendon.

Peggy Bainard Acheson, Treasurer
Debwendon Inc.

FALL/WINTER UPDATE – November 17, 2021

The trail and washrooms are now closed for the season.

We hope you enjoyed some of the wonderful days of summer and fall at trail this season. We noticed that the trail was very dry; some of the orchids didn’t come up and there were fewer of those that did bloom.

We would like to thank Brokenhead Ojibway Nation Resource Centre, and their young Trail Keepers for opening/closing the gate and maintaining the Trail and washrooms, etc. this year. We would also like to recognize and thank the Winnipeg Foundation who administer the Eugene Reimer Environment Fund for the maintenance of the trail and make it possible for us to hire caretakers.


We are pleased to announce that our new picnic shelter and shed are now complete. We hope to have many years use of it for tours and outdoor events. We would like to express a HUGE THANK YOU to all of our funders and donors. These include the Winnipeg Foundation, the Selkirk & District Community Foundation, the Manitoba Building Sustainable Communities Grant, the MB-150 Host Committee, Native Orchid Conservation Inc. and other anonymous donors. Our generous funders were extremely understanding and flexible concerning our issues with securing the supplies due to increasing costs and doing a construction project during COVID. We would also like to recognize Keith Neyedly at Kamo Construction, who did such a great job! Keith and Home Hardware in Selkirk also each donated a couple of picnic tables for the new shelter.

Front of shelter during construction

Finished shelter

Completed shelter and shed.











Despite several attempts we have not yet heard back from the RM of St. Clements regarding the proposed quarry south of Stead Road.

Recently Agriculture and Resource Development, confirmed that any decision regarding the quarry leases that are up for renewal continues to be held until they can complete a review of our concerns. In the meantime, we encourage you to participate in an online survey about Gull Lake land use that is now available at EngageMB (for background please see our News Blog on the right of this page):


We would like to mention a few issues that we had this summer. Debwendon is a volunteer Board and many of us do not live close to the Trail. We rely on the people we have hired to do the maintenance as well as the visitors (including you) to the trail to let us know of any issues during the course of the season. We have had many reports of people taking dogs on the trail, stepping off the trail and boardwalk to harvest mushrooms and other plants. We know that you appreciate how special this place is, and therefore care about how it is managed. Next time you’re at the Trail, and if you feel comfortable, if you see anyone with a dog, or picking plants or mushrooms, climbing trees, or walking off the trail or boardwalk, please ask them politely to stop and report it to us at If they are nasty or threatening, please don’t put yourselves in harm’s way. Most people we have approached have been cooperative when we explain why we have these simple rules. (Please see our news blog on why we don’t allow dogs on the trail to the right). We all need to make sure that the trail is a safe and pleasant place to visit. Similarly, please let us know if you see any downed trees, vandalism, etc. 

We would be so appreciative if visitors would clean up any garbage when using the new shelter and take “smelly” garbage home. Although the garbage bin is “bear proof” those clever bears have learned to tip the bin over backwards so that the lid pops open making a real mess! Also, please note that the garbage and recycling bins are not emptied in the winter off-season. Please pack out your garbage with you.


If you would like to be added to our e-list, please send an email to to sign up. We will send notifications regarding openings/closings, special events, and other issues of interest from time to time.


THANK YOU to those who have donated to us over the past few years. We haven’t been able to do any school tours or Discovery Day, both major sources of funding for trail operations. Donate on our secure website at via Paypal or credit card. Alternatively, you may send a cheque, payable to Debwendon Inc., to P.O. Box 194, Scanterbury, MB, R0E 1W0. Donations of $10 or more will receive a tax receipt. Thank you so much for your help and support!

DOs and DONT’s when at the trail:

PLEASE STAY ON THE TRAIL AND BOARDWALK: Plants like this Grass-Pink cannot be seen until they emerge in the late spring. The soil may be compacted and their fragile roots damaged. Compaction makes it harder for plants to access air and nutrients and can damage them irreparably. Or, the immature plant may be trampled spoiling its chance to be pollinated and set seed.

Our Instagram page also shows many people climbing trees. This damages the trees and could potentially be a safety hazard if someone fell. Please don’t allow children to climb on the trees. 




DOGS ARE NOT ALLOWED ON THE TRAIL: Despite our many signs saying NO dogs are allowed, Instagram shows many people on the trail with their dogs. Please see a separate blog about why we don’t allow dogs on the trail. Similarly bikes and ATVs are not allowed on the trail.


PHYSICALLY DISTANCING: Please follow Provincial restrictions regarding COVID-19 when on the trail. Since the boardwalk is only 2m wide, please be respectful when passing others. Wear a mask if the trail is busy and physical distancing is difficult. Debwendon wants everyone to have a safe and enjoyable time. Please be respectful of each other, and wash your hands when you get home.



PLEASE DO NOT SMOKE ON THE TRAIL OR BOARDWALK. Risk of fire is high at this time and would spoil our beautiful forest, fen and wetland! Thanks.


PLEASE DO NOT PARK ON THE HIGHWAY WHEN THE GATE IS CLOSED: During COVID we have told visitors to park outside the gate once the trail is closed for the season. Last spring so many people were visiting the trail that some started parking along both sides of Highway 59. This is extremely dangerous and you do so at your own risk. You also risk getting a ticket from the RCMP when parking on the highway. Please also don’t park in front of the gate.

For more information about the trail please see the Trail page, or download our brochure

Mike James with our new T-shirts


These are our new T-shirts with our logo and the four concepts of the trail theme in Ojibway (Interconnection, Respect, Purpose, and Balance). T-shirts are now on our Shopping page.

Tour Operators: If you are a tour operator or guide planning to offer tours of the Brokenhead Trail, please let us know the dates you plan to be at the trail. Please consider making a donation to Debwendon Inc. to support our operations and maintenance of the boardwalk. Depending on the size of your group, a minimum $100 donation is recommended.

Individuals/families: Your donation helps us with operations; please click on the Donate button below.

If you are looking for that special present, consider ordering one of our vintage Bergman fine art prints. At $80 they are a wonderful example of this local artist’s work. The woodcut prints are all plants that grow in the Brokenhead Wetland. The fiddlehead fern is now out of stock. Your donation or purchase helps us pay for our Director and Officer insurance, website, office supplies, and promotion.

credit here credit herewildcolumbine   cedar bunchberry



Some tips for having an enjoyable time on the trail:

  • Pack out what you carried in.

  • Be Bear Smart. Do not go alone.

  • NO DOGS allowed on the trail.

  • NO BICYCLES or ATVs allowed on the trail.

  • Bring water and mosquito repellent on warm days and wear a hat if it is hot.

  • Washrooms are available at the trailhead only.

  • Please practice: Leave no trace – Take only pictures – Leave only footprints.

Please report any downed trees, vandalism, or other issues on our Contact Us page.


New video!

Carl Smith and Richard Reeves,  Debwendon Inc. Board Directors, lead a tour for the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region and Lake Friendly last month. Please click here to link to the video which was produced by Winnipeg Metropolitan Region and Lake Friendly. Great job, Carl...

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by Peggy Bainard Acheson, Treasurer This area is a sacred space on protected land, a place where people can enjoy some time in nature with their families. This complex area, with its many species of rare plants, forest ecosystem, and of course the fen itself, is...

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Debwendon Donations

Your donation will help us with operation and maintenance of the Brokenhead Wetland Interpretive Trail Project.  We are a registered Canadian Charity, registration-number 85940 9997 RR0001, and will issue a tax-receipt for your donation. LOGO-OCC-OnePercentForOrchidConservationWe are an eligible recipient under the 1% For Orchid Conservation initiative.  If your company or society has made the commitment to donate 1% of net revenue toward orchid-conservation then please consider donating that amount to us.

Make a one-time donation to the Brokenhead Wetland Interpretive Trail:   Amount:

EKO (for as long as…)

Brokenhead Wetland Ecological Reserve Location

From Winnipeg drive north on PTH 59 past Brokenhead Ojibway Nation. From PR 304 (Stead Road), continue north approximately 2 km – the access is on the west side of the highway. Driving time: approx. 1 hour. Coming from the north on PTH 59, turn right off the highway approximately 500 m south of the PTH 12 intersection. Latitude: 50.407145, Longitude: -96.541003

Photo Credits: Will Milne, Mike James, Brian Kotak, Peggy Bainard Acheson, Ryan Wakshinski, Krystal Panetta, John Dyck and Richard Reeves