Friends of Petrie Island

Public access to Petrie Island will be restricted from October 1 to late December while construction work is performed on the causeway. / L’accès aux îles sera limité pour le public du 1er octobre à la fin de décembre 2018 en raison de la reconstruction de la chaussée et du pont.

Beaches Closed for Season

Another summer season has passed at Petrie Island.  The supervised beaches are closed.

What’s coming in 2018

FOPI is making plans for the upcoming year. Although the Nature center was demolished we will continue to run our school tours, our Junior and Youth Naturalists programs, our Wednesday work days and other events.

We will be using the tent (20 x 30 Feet) and our support buildings to run our programs along with  a trailer provided by the City to be used as office space.

We will be developing new outdoor display spaces to replace what was housed in the Nature centre. We are continuing with our regular activities, such as plant signages, developing the nursery, removal of invasive species and protection of trees and turtle nests and we will continue to improve facilities and points of interest to increase enjoyment of Petrie Island.

As always our continued success depends on the participation of volunteers and members. We look forward to your participation and membership subscription or renewal in the near future and look forward to a great year!  For more information check our subscription form.


After a short winter period Petrie Island was flooded to the highest level in many years during April and May. Floods caused damage to the causeway, which delayed repairs to the beach and picnic area and the area was not officially opened until late June. Petrie Island and the road was closed for 60 days.

Beavers were very active during the flooding, debarking many large Cottonwood trees, many of these trees were in higher elevations where the Beavers would not normally be able to reach them. Fopi members managed to wrap about 10 large trees to save them from dying. The City came in to remove over 60 large dead Ash trees in January and planted 95 trees and shrubs in October as replacements.

FOPI received grants to hire five students from Canada Summer jobs. Unfortunately most of the school tours had to be cancelled due to the flooding. Only two of fifteen scheduled tours were held at the end of June. Our adult tours and clean ups were cancelled, however we did run our successful Naturalist programs and summer tours. Due to the flooding we were unable to use our nature centre as it was closed while being evaluated for mould and structure damage. We also lacked power and had to operate with a generator, displays and other equipment were moved to our tent area which became our operation headquarters.

We continued our Wednesday adult workdays on a variety of projects to maintain the picnic area trails and repairing and restoring picnic tables and observation benches.

The Membership program was cancelled which included three clean ups, educational tours, removal of invasive species, all due to the flooding and reconstruction of the area. We did send out regular dispatches to members starting in May. Many people offered to help with restoration work in June but were unable to help as the island was inaccessible. By the time we were able to get in we were working on our summer programs. FOPI held one clean up in late June in cooperation with the World Wildlife Federation that included a display trailer from the Vancouver aquarium. We also hosted the release of 400 young Eels into the Ottawa river in cooperation with the Ottawa Riverkeeper, Environment Ministry staff from Ontario and Quebec.

We continued to support Kayaking at Petrie Island with the Petrie Island Canoe club under Sarah Kennedy. They ran full day camps during the summer using the FOPI tent and picnic area for parts of their program. We participated in the Cross fit event and received $3200.

Despite the difficulties we completed our 20th year of operation. We would like to thank members for their support of our programs which will continue in 2018. We plan to have some celebrations next year to mark our 20th.

Chairman, Al Tweddle

Friends of Petrie Island, November 3, 2017

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