Friends of Petrie Island

Amis de lle Petrie

Internet: www.petrieisland.org

 

Report to City OF OTTAWA for the Summer Season 2002 - October

 

The Friends of Petrie Island operated the Petrie Island picnic area for the fifth year this past summer. This was the second year of operation with the new City of Ottawa, the previous three years were with the City of Cumberland.

 

An increasing number of people from across the region are discovering the area, and this along with continued use by those familiar with the Islands increased attendance from 34,000/visitor hours in 2000 to 75,000 in 2002.

 

The Friends of Petrie Island would like to thank the City of Ottawa and its staff for the support they have received this year.

 

ORGANIZATION

                   Fifth year of operating the picnic area: 1998 - 1 month; 1999 - 2 months; 2000 - 4 months, 2001 - 5 months, 2002 - 5 months

                   Continued contacts with various associations: Ottawa Field Naturalists Club (OFNC), Ottawa Duck club, local community associations, Riverkeepers, SHELL (Turtle Club) and various government bodies

                   Additional City funds were used to hire students for monitoring and maintenance

                   An Ontario Trillium Foundation grant allowed us to expand our interpretive program

                   Conducted survey on futures uses of Petrie Island

                   participated in Planning meetings and Open houses on the park/beach plans

 

SITE IMPROVEMENTS, USING FUNDS FROM CITY AND DONATIONS

                   Expanded picnic area west and south, cleaned up shoreline and expanded sand areas; sand donated by Roger Grandmaitre Ltd

                   Built 10 new picnic tables, with materials donated by Home Depot

                   Provided maintenance and cleanup of trail and shoreline outside picnic area

                   Improved the cottage for use as an interpretive center, electricity was added with City funds

                   A mural was painted on the south wall of the cottage

                   Improved signage and display areas

                   Majority of work was done Wednesday mornings. Two work days were also attended by the general public. Many Scout and Guide groups participated in clean ups in the picnic area and on the island.

                   Improved area around the canoe launch - (Crappy Bay)

                   provided sand mounds for potential turtle breeding areas at Crappy Bay

                   A wildflower garden was started using driftwood and natural plants


                   previously donated picnic tables using pressure treated lumber were painted

                   Area around the second cottage was used as maintenance area and for some special events

 

OPERATION

 

                   Wet weather in April, May and June limited access and delayed cleanup of the picnic area, which was inaccessible due to flooding for approx one week in late April, one week in mid-May and one week in June, despite this the attendance in May and June was only slightly below last years

                   The City provided direct funds for toilet rental (4 months), materials and grass cutting ($3,900) as well as services of staff for site improvement and garbage collection ($3,550), for a total value of $7,450 (the same as the previous year)

                   Daily cleanup, site improvement, and monitoring of the area was provided by Friends of Petrie Island, using volunteers and students hired with City grant money - $3000

                   The bylaws were generally obeyed, including dogs on a leash, occasional foot patrols by bylaw officers and Police had a positive impact.

                   Parking - up to 120 cars were counted on peak days. There were 70 regular spots. There were 16 days with over 70 cars and 8 days with over 100.

                   Litter problems were mainly caused by animals in garbage cans and debris washed up from the river

                   FOPI again worked with City staff to protect trees from Beavers (wrapped trees with wire mesh)

 

ATTENDANCE

                   Attendance was based on car counts time 2.5 persons in May/June and 3.0 persons in July/August

                   Ideal weather as well as growing awareness of the area increased attendance.

                   There were 51 days when attendance exceeded 500 and 25 days when it exceeded 1000 and 7 days when it exceeded 1500

 

INTERPRETIVE AND PUBLIC RELATIONS

                   Trillium grant provided a student for four months, and monies to improve publications, displays and present an audio visual program.

                   Continued program of monthly posters to educate the public on various natural aspects of Petrie Island and added interpretive boards, increased from 9 to 12 boards on display

                   Updated three brochures and improved the distribution using the Trillium grant

                   Participated in Wildlife Festival at Carlingwood Mall in April

                   Six open houses were held with nature displays, including 3rd Wildflower Walk and a 2nd Turtle Day

                   Jim Robertson, one of our photographers, completed a slide show featuring a year in the life of Petrie Island, which was shown to various community groups and schools, 31 presentations to over 1250 people

                   Made presentations and gave tours to Scout and Guide groups, schools and Wildlife Federation of Canada National Conference

                   Our website (www.petrieisland.org) was improved and we have received many positive comments

                   Three Carleton University students are working on environmental projects at Petrie Island

                   Featured on a CHRO and CJOH TV segments: Chairman was also interviewed twice for radio programs and Petrie was featured in Ottawa City Life magazine

                   Petrie Island was again featured in:

- local publications, Citizen, Orleans Star and Journal, East end Communiqu, Ottawa City Life Magazine

- Wildlife Festival map of nature sites in Eastern Ontario


FOPI REQUESTS COUNCIL SUPPORT FOR:

                   Construction of Phase 1 of the Beach plan

                   Develop a management plan for the sand operation area of the Island during construction of the beach

                   Friends of Petrie Island believe that the entire 25-acre sand excavation site should be developed as a passive recreation park and that any boating/boat launch facilities should be located well away from the present sand excavation site; plans should proceed to develop this area

                   Look at possible use of the downstream bay for canoe, kayak and small boat sailing area as well as shore fishing

 

PROPOSALS FOR 2003

                   Same operating season as 2002, May to October, operation will depend on the construction schedule

                   Improved toilet facilities

                   build another picnic shelter

                   Work on additional nature trails on Island and mainland shore

                   Improve cottage/Info center

                   Apply for another Trillium grant

                   Expand interpretive program, with additional rotating signage, guided and self guided tours

                   Increase grass cutting from 6 - 8 times

                   Where possible have after hours check ie: 9 - 10 p.m. and look into a gate at entrance to the Island

                   Increase membership base and donations

 

5 YEAR REVIEW

Five years ago only a few individuals and fishermen went to the areas of the Island upstream of the Grandmaitre sand operation. FOPI has opened up the area from 1 months, 8000/visitor hours in 1998 to 5 months (May to Oct) 80,000 in 2002. During these five years FOPI has been responsible in obtaining over $70,000 in donated material and volunteer time.

We have developed a picnic area with a small beach and a two kilometer trail system that allows the public to visit unique wetland systems at Petrie Island. People from all over Ottawa are coming to see, educate and enjoy the area.

The Ottawa Field Naturalist Club inventoried the area in 1999 and working with them FOPI has developed a trail system which minimizes the impacts on the ecosystem. Various reports indicate that the wildlife variety (see FOPI website) is abundant, the number of turtles and herons seen (fall 2002) indicate healthy populations.

The constant monitoring of the area by volunteers and staff are an essential part of this success. With the development of a park/beach on the sand operation site it will be equally important to continue these efforts and FOPI will continue to participate in the overall protection, education and operation of Petrie Island.

 

Al Tweddle, Chair, Friends of Petrie Island

(613) 824-1188

hatweddle@home.com


Friends of Petrie Island Finances

 

2002 2001

Main sources of FOPI Revenue

Membership fees $330 $ 425

Cash donations* $400 $ 2425

*(Queenswood Heights, Fallingbrook, Villages Associations and AutoDesk Company contributed $2000.)

City Grant 3000*

 

Main FOPI Expenses

Operational Supervision $3075* $1631.

Telephone $ ** $115

Interpretive $ ** $421

SUBTOTAL $3075 $2167

* City grant

** Covered by Trillium grant this year

 

Donated Material Sand from Grandmatre $1200 $700

Picnic tables (Home Depot) $1000 $1051

Photo materials (FOPI Members) $ 500 $2000

SUBTOTAL $2700 $3751

 

CITY FUNDS

Materials and supplies $1500 $2000

Grass cutting $ 800 $ 400

Toilet rental $2500 $1500

Electricity $4800 $3900

Staff time for support, garbage collection, chain saw work,

Machine operator (this portion not complete at this time) $ 2650 $3550

 

TOTAL $7450 7450

 

FRIENDS OF PETRIE ISLAND EXECUTIVE

 


Chairman: Al Tweddle


Planning: Dave Villeneuve

Dave Redmond


Vice Chairman: Ren Cloutier


Publicity: Pat LaForest


Secretary: Pete Waddell

 


Membership: Doug Drouillard

 


Treasurer: Steve McPhee


Management Committee: Al Tweddle

Paul Le Fort

Steve McPhee


Interpretive Program: Paul Le Fort

Al Tweddle

Bill Bower

Christine Hanrahan

Jim Robertson


TABLE 1 - PETRIE ISLAND ATTENDANCE

 

 

 

 

 

TOTAL ATTENDANCE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1998

 

1999

 

2000

 

2001

 

2002

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MAY

 

n.a.

 

3075

 

4089

 

5084

 

4185

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JUNE

 

510

 

3943

 

4617

 

9517

 

9479.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JULY

 

277

 

6852

 

10,974

 

18,672

 

26,062

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AUGUST

 

4576

 

6196

 

9881

 

19,674

 

26,417

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SEPTEMBER

 

2596

 

3400

 

4500 )

 

8,456

 

13,044

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SEASON TOTAL

 

7959

 

23,466

 

34,970

 

 

60,403

 

79,187*

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Over 200,000 hours of use

 

TABLE 2 - VOLUNTEER WORKERS

 

 

 

 

2002 paid

 

2002

volunteer

 

2000

 

2001

 

WORK HOURS

 

400 *

 

739

 

658

 

479

 

MONITORS & CAPTAINS HOURS

 

 

 

453

 

806

 

919

 

ORGANIZATIONAL

 

 

 

160

 

110

 

120

 

INTERPRETIVE PROGRAM

 

1040**

 

210

 

250

 

530

 

TOTAL

 

 

 

1592

 

1824

 

2048

 

VALUE @ $7.00/HOUR

 

 

 

$11,144

 

$12,768

 

$14,336

 

DONATED MATERIAL

 

 

 

$2700

 

$1100

 

$3751

 

TOTAL Volunteer Value

 

1440

 

$13,844

 

$13,968

 

$18,036

* City Grant ** Trillium grant