Friends of Petrie Island

Oziles Marina Canoe Club Reservations


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.


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.

Petrie Island in the Winter

Petrie Island remains open all year, even though the beaches are closed for the season. Parking is free from September to Victoria Day.   Roads and parking lots are plowed in winter. A warning: ice surface may be unsafe, especially on the main river channel.

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 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

FOPI LOGO 2015.large 2

Friends of Petrie Island Donor 2015:


 17 Tristan Court  – Website Link

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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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