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Mid-Year update and an opportunity to Participate

Subject: Mid-Year update and an opportunity to participate………

Heading into 2017 there are many traditional and new activities which provide wonderful volunteer opportunities to help the Friends of Presqu’ile Park achieve our goals.  Membership in the Friends of Presqu’ile Park requires only a desire to help the environment at Presqu’ile and a willingness to share the wonders of our special Park to young and old alike.

Sadly we cannot fulfil these desires without many hands contributing in a wide variety of ways through volunteerism.  Here is a peek at what we have done, continue to support and hope to undertake in the upcoming years……..

Again this year we will be providing extraordinary educational support to a wide variety of constituents: 

  • Children from our community and further afield through our Kids ‘n Nature Summer day camps.  Parents and Grandparents alike send their little ones to this camp, registration fills up quickly.
  • We support school classes and the current Ontario curriculum by offering trained naturalists and educators to provide hands on demonstrations and outdoor education.  Busloads of school classes attend the Park but it is the Friends who provide the educational experience by managing, training, programing and paying the salaries of these educators.  Without the Friends there would be no programs!
  • NHE (Natural Heritage Education) program support is provided by the Friends who pay salaries for summer staff who run the Nature Centre and offer the many programs for Park visitors and campers.

Environmental Initiatives… we continue to undertake various annual activities to give nature (the flora and fauna) a helping hand and through funding scientific research in the following way:

  • Helping endangered species’ populations expand, like the turtles, by protecting them from vehicular danger and predation which could overwhelm fragile populations such as the Common Tern.
  • Removal of invasive species plants is an ongoing and extremely difficult challenge and effort to understand new science and promote active experimentation (Phragmites control) is ongoing.

Trail Monitoring and Repairs… is more than an enjoyable walk in the woods as many hands and feet too, make our trails more pleasant and accessible.

  • These volunteers ensure litter is removed and trails are safe to walk, clear of fallen branches.
  • Repairs and expansion of foot bridges over wet areas is an annual activity ensuring more accessibility to our beautiful park.

Expansion of Support… our 2017 Business and Financial Plan lays out particulars for continuation of the many activities our Members expect and points out a need to establish a longer view for future years.

Long Term Plans: …  Your Board spent time at our October meeting to learn from Rob Cunningham our Park Superintendent of areas for future development of activities which fit with the Park’s and the Friends longer term Vision for the Park.  At a recent Board meeting, eight intriguing areas passed the first stage of assessment.  Some may take considerable effort and collaboration but others could start as early as the fall of 2017 and definitely happen within 2018.  More details will be shared at our Annual General Meeting in June and clearly more help will be needed……

Therefore… in order for us to make progress we need help from our Members now and must appeal to you all to consider joining us in this expansion effort.

Specifically help is needed in each of the following:

  • The Board of Directors urgently requires two new members. Individuals who may have some form of past Board experience would feel right at home joining our Board of Directors, but on the job training from our current very competent and friendly Board Members, is also available. 
  • Membership and Donation Coordinator… finding an organized individual, who has the ability to work from home, processing incoming mail and can liaise with our Website coordinator to tally monthly donation and membership information, updating the Board with a brief report periodically is also an immediate need
  • Finance – Assistant Treasurer… an individual with an understanding of basic banking and accounting conventions who could assist our treasurer in undertaking some of the day-to-day work of managing our financial affairs would be most welcome.
  • Photography skills… taking, editing and cataloguing pictures as a member of our Communications Team which could be an expansion of a hobby or a new outlet for creativity.

I cannot stress how very much we appreciate all of our existing volunteers who do a lot for us and still at the same time appeal for more… it’s a dilemma, but one so important to allow us to continue to be successful and also to expand…

Please check out our Website http://www.friendsofpresquile.on.ca/get-involved.php for more information and get in touch with us through any Board Member by email at info@friendsofpresquile.on.ca or contact me.

Steve Sinclair – Chairperson chair@friendsofpresquile.on.ca 416 303 5285