Friends of Petrie Island

Oziles Marina Canoe Club Reservations

Sign up your kids for the JUNIOR NATURALIST program or add your name to the list for the year’s activities. 

Book a tour for your youth group, school group, or summer camp.

RENEW your membership in person at Interpretive center or here.


As Canada turns 150, the Friends of Petrie Island mark their 20th year of volunteer service to the community. In 1997, members of a group formed to maintain the walking trails of Queenswood Heights /Fallingbrook in Orleans saw potential in a nature preserve and park at Petrie Island, acquired in 1983 by the municipality from its private owners. The Friends of Petrie Island also opposed construction of a new interprovincial bridge that would have been destructive to the island environment. They also  saw possibilities for an environmental education program. Twenty years later, that program has been a resounding success, and the volunteers and staff of Friends of Petrie Island are proud to serve the community by managing the trail system and picnic area. Many thanks to all who have served, and especially to the elected representatives and municipal officials and staff who supported us along the way. Over the years, Friends have received over $200,000 in support.


Alors que le Canada célèbre son 150e, les Amis de l’île Petrie marquent 20 ans de bénévolat. En 1997, plusieurs membres d’un groupe constitué pour entretenir les sentiers de Queenswood Heights et Fallingbrook à Orléans ont vu le potentiel d’une reserve naturelle, avec un parc, à l’île Petrie, que la municipalité avait acheté en 1983. Les Amis s’opposaient aussi à la construction d’un pont interprovincial à l’île Petrie, projet qui en aurait dégradé l’environnement naturel. Les Amis envisageaient aussi un programme d’éducation. Vingt ans ont passé, et ce dernier est un franc succès, alors que les bénévoles et le personnel des Amis de l’île Petrie sont fiers de servir la communauté en assurant l’entretien du réseau de sentiers et du terrain de pique-nique. Nous remercions tous ceux et celles qui ont fait partie de l’effort, et surtout les représentants élus et le personnel municipal qui nous ont appuyé. Au fil des ans, les Amis on reçu plus de 200 000$ de soutien.

What’s coming in 2017

Our popular Junior Naturalist day camp program, adult guided walks, theme days (Turtle Day, Membership Day Open House),  group cleanups, invasive species removal as well as flower and tree planting and our regular Wednesday work days are among the activities planned for 2017. Attention teachers: school class visits are now being booked for mid-May to June. They include a tour of the Interpretation Center, short scavenger hunt, nature walk and free time, for a total of two hours or so, including a snack break. Fee is $5 per child, no charge for adults.

Click on Programs and Events for details.

Front row: Paul, Robert, Jocelyn, Christine, Kayla, Emily, Sarah; Back row: Bill, Mike, Stephen, Al, Gil, JoAnne
Front row: Paul, Robert, Jocelyn, Christine, Kayla, Emily, Sarah; Back row: Bill, Mike, Stephen, Al, Gil, JoAnne


After a short winter Petrie Island was flooded four times between January and May, with roads closed a total of 43 days.  Beavers were very active during the flood, debarking many large cottonwood trees. Volunteers wrapped a dozen large trees to save them. It also became evident that a large number of ash trees were  dead or were dying from the ash borer disease. The City came in to remove over 30  large  dead ash trees. Friends is working with  Forestry to protect  trees by wrapping with wire mesh as well as growing and planting replacement trees.

Friends received grants to hire five students through Careers Canada. This allowed us to expand our educational programs, do our displays and initiate development of a tree nursery. We had an increased number of school tours, with over 1,200 students and parents from 15 schools attending 15 tours in May and June and our Junior and Youth naturalist had 36 events attended by 811 people.

We continued our Wednesday adult workdays on a  variety of projects to maintain the picnic area, trails and nature centre.  Work continued on new trails, benches and completing the new storage facility in the plant nursery area.

The City purchased  private property at the head of the Bill Holland trail where one new loop trail was developed with fine river views.

The Membership program was continued with two open houses and tours highlighting features of Petrie Island including edible and medicinal plants, archeology of the area, trees of Petrie island and invasive  plants. We also sent out regular dispatches to members.

We continued our monitoring of Turtle basking and nesting started in 2005.

We continued to support  Kayaking at Petrie Island with the newly formed Canoe club under Sarah Kennedy. The club ran day camps during the summer using  the Friends’ activity tent and storage areas for their program.

We would like to thank members and many others for their support of our programs, all continuing in 2017.

Al Tweddle, Chair – Friends of Petrie Island

FOPI LOGO 2015.large 2


                         Get Involved

Want to know more about FOPI membership and volunteering? Find out more here: Get Involved

We gratefully acknowledge funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation

It's getting to that time of year when baby turtles will be emerging from their nests. Here are some hints for when you find a baby turtle roaming around:

1) Remember that they haven't been abandoned! Baby turtles are precocial, which means that they are able to care for themselves from the time they hatch

2) Please don't take them in as pets! It is ILLEGAL to keep a wild animal as a pet and most people don't have adequate equipment to care for a turtle

3) Only handle it if it looks heading towards danger (a road, a parking lot). Pick it up gently and deposit it near a nearby body of water, preferably the one it seemed to be heading to

Thanks for your help and enjoy baby turtle season!
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It's too rainy for bees right now but it is World Honey Bee Day! We love those fuzzy pollinators!

Also, we'll be announcing the #PetriePhotoContest winner within the next few days! Thank you for all your wonderful submissions 😀
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There are several spots remaining for our event today! We encourage you to stop by and join us even if you have not yet reserved a spot. 🙂 ... See MoreSee Less

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Don't forget to register for tomorrow's walk - you won't want to miss it! ... See MoreSee Less

Be sure not to miss out on our last tour of the season! We've joined up with the Ontario Archeological Society to bring you an exciting and informative talk on Local and Regional Archeology.

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Reminder about our photo contest! We are accepting submissions until this Saturday, August 20th! ... See MoreSee Less

Announcing the first ever Petrie Island Photo Contest! We'd love to see your perspective on our island. To enter: 1) Take a photo somewhere at the island. 2) Follow us on Instagram (@petrieisland) AND/OR like us on Facebook at Friends of Petrie Island 3) Tag us in the photo and use #PetriePhotoContest (make sure your settings are set to public so we can view your photo). 4) Up to 4 entries per person. The winner will receive a family membership for the 2017 season and will be featured on our social media accounts, our newsletter, and our website. Contest closes Saturday, August 20th.

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