Another busy summer season has come and gone, it feels like just yesterday that we were hiring and preparing for the summer season. It’s been a busy summer for Discovery, but we aren’t finished yet! The Nature Centre remains open on Saturdays until Thanksgiving weekend, and we are offering a program each Saturday until Thanksgiving as well. Our very popular winter walks will also take place this winter so stay tuned for more details.
Before our Discovery programs we often ask visitors if they have visited Presqu’ile before and if they have ever attended a Discovery program. This summer we found that often more than half our audiences had never been to Presqu’ile before and for many visitors this was their first experience at a Discovery program. So, it is very encouraging to see new visitors discovering Presqu’ile and our wide range of Discovery Programs.
This summer the Discovery team delivered 112 programs to over 7,600 visitors. The Shipwrecks and Pirates Children’s Program continues to be one of the best attended programs at Presqu’ile, it has been offered at Presqu’ile for close to 20 years! I overheard one parent telling their child that they used to come to the Shipwrecks and Pirates at Presqu’ile when they were a child!
This summer we also ran our five special events starting off with Warblers & Whimbrels Weekend which was very well attended. The Sunday was one of the largest visitation days in recent history, with over 75 people coming out to learn more about shorebirds on our afternoon walk! This summer also marked the 5th Annual Species at Risk Day where over 300 people came out to learn about snakes and turtles in Ontario with Sciensational Snakes! Attendance was lower than expected for our annual History Weekend events, so with all these new visitors to the park, we will have to look at more promotion for that event to help new visitors discover this annual tradition.
Finally, we would like to give a shout out to the many volunteers who helped make this summer’s Discovery program a success. We wouldn’t be able to do all that we do without the support of so many volunteers. Thank you to the volunteers who work in the Nature Centre and Lighthouse on Wednesdays throughout the summer, having volunteers allows the entire Discovery staff to practice and prepare for the History Weekend performances and do resource management work in August. Thank you to volunteers from the Royal Astronomical Society – Belleville Chapter who bring their telescopes out to the park every other week throughout the summer to show visitors the stars. Thank you to our special guest presenters who give bird banding demonstrations, monarch tagging demonstrations and musket demonstrations. Finally thank you to the Friends of Presqu’ile for all the work they do to support the Discovery program.