2017: TWENTY YEARS OF SERVICE
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 in Orleans saw potential in a nature preserve and park at Petrie Island, acquired some years before by the municipality from its private owners. The Friends of Petrie Island also wanted to discourage the 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 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.
2017: VINGT ANS DE SERVICE
Alors que le Canada célèbre son 150e, que 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 à Orleans ont vu le potential d’une reserve naturelle, avec un parc, à l’île Petrie, que la municipalité avait acheté quelques années auparavant. Les Amis voulaient également prévenir 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. Ving ans ont passé, et ce dernier est un franc succès, alors que les bénévoles des Amis de l’île Petrie sont fiers de server 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.
FRIENDS OF PETRIE ISLAND 2016 HIGHLIGHTS
After a short winter period Petrie Island was flooded four times between January and May, this caused the roads to be closed 14 days in January, 10 days in March and twice in April, 12 and 7 days, for a total of 43 days. Beavers were very active during the latter flooding, debarking many large Cottonwood trees, Fopi members managed to wrap about 10 large trees to save them from dying. 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. FOPI is working with Forestry to protect trees by wrapping with wire as well as growing and planting replacement trees.
FOPI received grants to hire five students from Canada Summer jobs. This allowed us to expand our educational programs, do our displays and initiate development of a nursery to grow new trees. We had an increased number of school tours, with over 1200 student 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 the development of new Nature trails, benches and the finalization of the replacement shed in the new Nursery area.
The City purchased private property at the start of the Bill Holland trail where one new loop trail was developed.
The Membership program was continued with two Open houses and tours highlighting features of Petrie Island including edible and medical 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. They ran full day camps during the summer using the FOPI tent and storage areas for their program.
We would like to thank members for their support of our programs which will continue in 2017, which will mark our 20th year of operation.
A discussion of these points and other items will be discussed at our annual meeting, on Tuesday, Oct 18, 7:00 p.m. at the Q Heights Community centre.
Al Tweddle, Chair – Friends of Petrie Island
Friends of Petrie Island Donor 2015:
17 Tristan Court – Website Link