Friends of Petrie Island

Amis de l’île Petrie

www.petrieisland.org

 

 

Report to City OF OTTAWA for the 2004 Summer Season 

October, 2004

This was our seventh year of operation. 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 over 153,000 this year. The Friends of Petrie Island wish to thank the City of Ottawa and its staff for the support they have received this year.    

                                   

It has been a busy year since our 2003 report. Construction of the new beach/park started in October and finished in December,  then resumed from mid-May to mid-July, causing disruption in picnic area use. Much of FOPI’s energy  was spent restoring and improving the area as a result of construction.

                                   

HIGHLIGHTS

1.       Operated picnic areas and trails – monitoring and maintenance

2.       Expanded interpretive program by opening Nature Centre for 100 days, holding special events, presenting slide shows and giving tours. Some events were cancelled due to construction. Publicizing the area through local and national media, developing displays, folders and a handbook. Assisted high school and university students in studies of the area

3.       Improvements included: observation platforms, display signs, trail signage, (Trillium grant) canoe launch

4.       Participated in planning and building of improved picnic area and beach/park

5.       Funds generated included:  $4,900 in grants, $3,500 in donations and a value of  $21,550 in volunteer labour

 

ORGANIZATION

o        Continued contacts with various associations: Ottawa Field Naturalists’Club (OFNC), Ottawa Duck Club, Urban Stewardship Council, local community associations, Orleans Recreation Board, Riverkeeper, SHELL (Turtle Club), Ottawa Forestry Advisory Committee, Amphibian Conservation Club, and various government bodies

o        Organizational and City funds were used to hire students for monitoring and maintenance

o        The second year of an Ontario Trillium Foundation grant ($4,900) was applied to our interpretive program

o        Participated in planning meetings and open houses on the park/beach plans

o        Operated the cottage as an information centre May through September

 

SITE IMPROVEMENTS

o        3 beach areas were constructed including  erosion control, headlands, pathways, landscaping and expanded parking  (see Appendix A)

o        Provided maintenance and cleanup of trail and shoreline outside picnic area

o        Improved the cottage for use as an interpretive centre including more display area and storage

o        Improved signs with trail signs and new display signs

o        Majority of work was done Wednesday mornings; two work days were also attended by the general public. Many Scout, Guide and Cadets groups participated in general cleanups.

o        Second wildlife observation platform was constructed (Trillium grant)

o        Canoe ramp and launch was installed (Urban Stewardship Council and the City)

 

OPERATIONS

o        The City  provided direct funds for toilet rental (5 months), materials and grass cutting ($3,750) as well as services of staff  for site improvement and garbage collection ($3,550), for a total value of  $7,300 (the same as the previous year), a third toilet had to be added due to increased useage of the area

o        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 - $3,000 and $3,000 in donations along with an HRSS grant of $2800. Monitoring is important to protect the environment and for public safety and has led to reduced levels of vandalism and damage

o        Parking – when the new parking lots were completed in mid-July there were 270 spaces, and there were 7 days when all were filled. A maximum of over 500 cars were recorded north of the causeway, with approx. 100 parked along the road outside  the park and another 130 along the road inside the park but outside of designated areas. One problem is that the parking spaces are not marked causing improper parking. The maximum number of cars parked in designated spots was about 235, 35 more could have been accommodated  (see Appendix B)

o        FOPI again worked with City staff to protect trees from beavers (wrapped trees with wire mesh). Over 70 trees were killed by beavers in the winter and spring.

 


ATTENDANCE

o        Attendance in May and June decreased over last year due to construction and flooding, but increased significantly after the parking was completed in July – (area closed 19 days in May and June)

o        Attendance figures are based on car counts multiplied by 2.5 persons in May/June and 3.0 persons in July/August.

o        Figures are found in Table 1. The attendance was based on the use of the whole park area inside the gate; on busy days this figure was adjusted to include cars parked outside the gates.

o        There were 38 days when attendance exceeded 1,000 and 14 days when it was over 3,000

o        After the park was opened in July the attendance increased to 133,000 compared to 64,000 last year

 

INTERPRETIVE AND PUBLIC RELATIONS

o        The second year of the Trillium grant provided funds to improve publications, displays and present an audiovisual slide show

o        Official photographer Jim Robertson completed a third slide show on turtles, which was shown to various community groups - 20 presentations were made to over 450 people using our new digital projector. The new Turtle show has been shown in Colombia and has been entered in a competition in four European countries

o        Opened the centre daily in July and August and on weekends in May, June and September

o        New  brochure and a Petrie Island handbook were produced using the Trillium grant

o        Participated in Wildlife Festival at Carlingwood Mall in April

o        Eight theme days were held with nature displays, including a fifth Wildflower Walk and a fourth  Turtle Day

o        Made presentations and gave tours to Scout, Guide and school groups

o        Our website (www.petrieisland.org) continues to receive considerable traffic and generate positive comments; many visitors mention the website as the reason for their visit

o        Various FOPI events and articles on Petrie Island have been featured in local TV and newspapers and in one National magazine, “Today’s Parent”

 

STUDIES: 

o        Student thesis “Effective light penetration on Jack-in-the-pulpit” – Katerina Sullivan, Institute of Environmental Science, Carleton University, April 2004

o        Turtle counts on Turtle Bay by FOPI members – in progress

 

 

FOPI SUPPORTS THE FOLLOWING:

o        Friends of Petrie Island believe this year’s use shows the entire 25-acre former extraction site should be developed for passive recreation and any boating/boat launch facilities should be located well away from the beach site; plans should proceed to develop this area.

o        FOPI supports the Grandmaître boat launch plan

o        Completion of the beach park plan with proper drainage and furnishings and amenities such as playgrounds, canteen, picnic shelters,  washrooms etc.

o        A management plan for the Islands for the interim and long term including policies to protect the environmental areas

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

o        We support an additional temporary parking area

o        We support the Kiwanis play structure proposal at Petrie Island

o        We do not support an interprovincial bridge at Petrie Island

o        Installation and enforcement of regulations i.e. boats and dogs in beach area

o        Some type of surface treatment of the main access (Trim) road, for dust control and pedestrian/cyclist safety

o        The addition of a bicycle lane along the access road to the causeway

 

PROPOSALS FOR 2005

o        Same operating season as 2004, May to October, operation will depend on status of the new beach/park

o        No dogs in picnic area, on beach/sand and natural areas

o        Continued support of Police and increased Bylaw presence to keep area safe

o        Open the beach: water quality results have been good to date and we feel the beach should be opened in 2005

o        Continue to improve cottages/info centre and programs

o        Incorporate grass cutting and other maintenance with the beach operation

o        Development of environmental programs on the island for youth

 

Al Tweddle, Chair, Friends of Petrie Island

(613) 824-1188

hatweddle@rogers.com

 



FRIENDS OF PETRIE ISLAND FINANCES

 

                                                                                                                                                                2004      

Balance from previous year                                                                                                                3795.86                  

REVENUE

GRANTS                                                                                                                                                                  

City                                                                                                                                         3000                       

Trillium                                                                                                                                   4900                           

HRSS                                                                                                                                      2588

Subtotal                                                                                                                                                   10488

DONATIONS

Community Organizations                                                                                                  3000

Miscellaneous (McNeely Golf tournament)                                                                    200

SUBTOTAL                                                                                                                                          3200

Memberships                                                                                                                                          200

Sales of  CD, pop, Info centre small donations                                                                                  623

TOTAL                                                                                                                                                  18,306.88

 

EXPENSES

Administration                                                                                                                                     733.98      

Trillium                                                                                                                                    

Stationery supplies                                                                                                                790.03                 

Construction supplies                                                                                                            2746.35

Audio Visual equipment                                                                                                       160.00

Pamphlets, books                                                                                                                   876.84                                  

Display materials                                                                                                                    255.50

SUBTOTAL                                                                                                                                          4828.72                              

 

Wages                                                                                                                                     7802.59

Wage benefits                                                                                                                          198.71

SUBTOTAL                                                                                                                                                 8001.30        

Bank charges                                                                                                                                                 62.32

TOTAL EXPENSES                                                                                                                 13,626.32

 

 

Balance Oct 21, 2004                                                                                                                              4,680.54*

 

*   The two year Trillium grant is from April 1, 2003 to April 1,2005, approximately $800 remains in this account

 

 

FRIENDS OF PETRIE ISLAND EXECUTIVE

 

Chairman:                                              Al Tweddle

Vice Chairman                                       Rene Cloutier

Secretary                                               Paul Le Fort

Treasurer                                              Steve McPhee

Membership                                           Doug Drouillard

Planning                                                David Villeneuve, Dave Redmond

Members at Large                                  Pete Waddell, Jim Robertson

Interpretive Program                               Paul LeFort, Al Tweddle, Bill Bower, 

Christine Hanrahan, Jim Robertson, Stephen Darbyshire

 

 


TABLE 1 - PETRIE ISLAND PICNIC AREA ATTENDANCE (Visitor hours)

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOTAL ATTENDANCE

 

 

 

 

 

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1998

 

 

1999

 

 

2000

 

 

2001

 

 

2002

 

 

2003

 

 

2004

 

 

MAY

 

 

n.a.

 

 

3075

 

 

 

4089

 

 

5084

 

 

4185

 

 

7703

 

 

6294

 

 

JUNE

 

 

510

 

 

3943  

 

 

4617

 

 

9517

 

 

9479.

 

 

20,198

 

 

14,436

 

 

JULY

 

 

277

 

 

6852    

 

 

10,974

 

 

18,672

 

 

26,062

 

 

25,934

 

 

48,137

 

 

AUGUST

 

 

4576

 

 

6196    

 

 

9881

 

 

19,674

 

 

26,417

 

 

26,363

 

 

57,718

 

 

SEPTEMBER

 

 

2596

 

 

3400    

 

 

4500 )

 

 

8,456

 

 

13,044

 

 

12,056

 

 

27,304

 

 

SEASON TOTAL

 

 

7959

 

 

23,466   

 

 

34,970

 

 

 

60,403

 

 

79187

 

 

92,254

 

 

153,889

 

                                                  TABLE 2 - VOLUNTEER WORKERS

 

 

 

 

 

2000

 

2001

 

2002

 

 

2003

 

2004

 

 

 

WORK HOURS ***

 

 

658

 

 

479

 

 

739

 

 

437

 

 

925

 

 

MONITORS & CAPTAINS: HOURS

 

 

806

 

 

919

 

 

453

 

 

344

 

 

370

 

 

ORGANIZATIONAL

 

 

110

 

 

120

 

 

160

 

 

220

 

 

253

 

 

INTERPRETIVE PROGRAM

 

 

250

 

 

530

 

 

210

 

 

370

 

 

567

 

 

TOTAL

 

 

1,824

 

 

2,048

 

 

1,592

 

 

1,370

 

 

2,115

 

 

VALUE @ $7.00/HOUR****

 

 

$12,768

 

 

$14,336

 

 

$11,144

 

 

$9,600

 

 

$21,150

 

 

DONATED MATERIAL

 

 

$1,100

 

 

$3751

 

 

$2700

 

 

$600

 

 

$400

 

 

TOTAL Volunteer Value

 

 

$13,968

 

 

$18,036

 

 

$13,844

 

 

$10,197

 

 

$21,550

 

 

Paid Hours

 

 

$385

 

 

$1,700*

 

 

$8,100**

 

 

$5,442*

 

 

$7,802

* Funds from City and community organizations

** Includes $5,000 from Trillium grant

** Includes students volunteer hours

**** Rate change per hour/ $10.00 in 2004


 

 

 

BEACH AND PICNIC AREA CONSTRUCTION REPORT – APPENDIX A

Oct – Dec 2003

-                      Installation of 5 rock headlands to reduce erosion along the shore. 2 headland and rock walls were installed in the picnic area with some modification at FOPI’s request

-                      Excavation of beach #3 where sharp shoreline drop off occurred

-                      Basic grading and levelling of site including raised portion for beach house/canteen, using existing dredged sand purchased from Grandmaitre

-                      Start on construction of 2 parking lots – started in Oct and finished Dec 5

-                      Strong currents and winds caused the in water protection curtain to be damaged and high waters and flooding in December halted construction

May to July 2004

-               Construction started in May with completion of retaining walls

-                      Construction of picnic area and boat launch area, parking lots with closing of the old road and opening of new road in mid June

-                      Construction of various pathways

-                      Installation of trees and shrubs and top soil for grassed area

-                      Picnic area path was last path due to high water levels in the area

-                      Installation of parking lot posts

-                      Reinstated grassed areas – completed, and seeding by FOPI

-                      Area was closed 19 days but open on weekends throughout construction with few problems

-               FOPI attended various planning/construction meetings on the beach project and was instrumental in bringing some changes, such as reducing the erosion wall in the picnic area, thus saving some trees from being destroyed. We also participated in reconstruction and upgrading of the picnic area through fine levelling and seeding the area and replacing foot paths.

 

FOPI RECOMMENDATIONS

-                      Completion of washrooms, canteen, etc

-                      Installation of buoys and life guard equipment

-                      Planting of additional trees, but some areas left open

-                      Proceed with Kiwanis playground or other equipment

-                      Purchase of picnic tables, animal proof garbage containers,

-                      Installation and enforcement of rules as per signs

-                      Installation of picnic shelter

-                      Add additional parking but temporary, not permanent

-                      Look at cost saving in conjunction with FOPI, including off season use

CANOE LAUNCH

-                      The Urban Stewardship Council (Joff Cote) and the City (Frank Dutrisac) and FOPI  participated in the construction and installation of a dock for canoe launching in August 2004

 

APPENDIX B

-               The parking numbers are maximum number of cars recorded between 2 and 4 p.m. on the dates shown.  It was noted that on some days when the park was closed, many people parked outside of the park area and walked into the beach and picnic area.

-               The hourly attendance totals for the day can be related to the temperature in deg. Centigrade and the sky conditions. O = Overcast  C = Clear,  PC – Partly Cloudy

-               Information on the use of the trails is the number of people in one hour on the Bill Holland trail, the busiest times are in the spring and fall weekends, the trails are not usually that busy on hot sunny days in the summer. 

-                      The information Centre  numbers are over several hours on the dates shown.

-                      The water levels are metres above sea level recorded at Gatineau. When the level is above 42.1 metres the Bill Holland and Muskrat trails are inaccessible , at 42.88 the picnic area road and parts of the picnic area are flooded