Report to Cumberland City Council for the Summer Season 2000

October 3, 2000

 

The Friends of Petrie Island operated the Petrie Island picnic area, under an agreement with the City of Cumberland, for the third year this past summer.

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 approximately 23,000 in 1999 to 35,000 this year, despite the poor weather through much of the season. (See table, p. 4)

The Friends of Petrie Island would like to thank the City of Cumberland and its staff for the support they have given us. We continue to receive many positive comments about the area and the work of the Friends of Petrie Island.

ORGANIZATION

SITE IMPROVEMENTS, USING FUNDS FROM CITY AND DONATIONS

 

OPERATION

ATTENDANCE

INTERPRETIVE AND PUBLIC RELATIONS

- local publications

- Gloucester Cumberland Nature Trail maps

- Wildlife Festival map of nature sites in Eastern Ontario

FOPI REQUESTS COUNCIL SUPPORT FOR:

1. Expansion of the picnic area to the east for the year 2001, about 200' of shore, 100' deep

2. Friends of Petrie Island believe that eventually 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

3. Existing picnic/sand areas of the leased area be declared off limits to dogs, i.e. as provided in the Parks bylaw and presently applied in playground areas.

SUGGESTIONS FOR 2001

Al Tweddle, Chair, Friends of Petrie Island

(613) 824-1188

bigal@achilles.net

 

Friends of Petrie Island Financial Statement, 2000

Donated Material Sand from Grandmaître $800

Picnic tables $300

SUBTOTAL $1100

FOPI FUNDS

Operational Weekend supervision $385.

Telephone $115

Interpretive $326/33

SUBTOTAL $826/33

CITY FUNDS

Materials Picnic shelter, signs, repair materials $2000

Grass cutting $400

Toilet rental $1500

$3900

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

Machine operator $3550

TOTAL 2000 $7450

 

FRIENDS OF PETRIE ISLAND EXECUTIVE

Chairman: Al Tweddle

 

Planning: Dave Villeneuve Dave Redmond

Vice Chairman: René Cloutier

 Publicity: Rick Thompson

Secretary: Pete Waddell

 At Large  Romeo Messier

Treasurer: Steve McPhee

 Management Committee:

 Al Tweddle

Paul Le Fort

Steve McPhee

Interpretive Program:

Paul Le Fort

Al Tweddle

Bill Bower

Christine Hanrahan

 

TABLE 1 - PETRIE ISLAND ATTENDANCE

 

 

 

TOTAL ATTENDANCE

DAILY AVERAGE

 

 

1998

1999

2000

1998

1999

2000

MAY

n.a.

3075

*(58)

4089 *(126)

n.a.

99

131

JUNE

510

3943 *(103)

4617 *(105)

n.a.

131

153

JULY

277 (6 days)

6852 *(275)

10,974 *(258)

n.a.

221

354

AUGUST

4576

6196 *(252)

9881 *(187)

147

200

319

SEPTEMBER

2596

3400 *(114)

4500 *(130)

86

103

150

SEASON TOTAL

7959

23,466 * (885)

34,970

(806)

 

 

 

 

 

* Hours monitored per month

 

TABLE 2 - VOLUNTEER WORKERS

 

 

 

1998

1999

2000

WORK HOURS

448

572

658

MONITORS= & CAPTAINS= HOURS

387

810

806

ORGANIZATIONAL

78

90

110

INTERPRETIVE PROGRAM

 

 

230

250

TOTAL

913

1647

1824

VALUE @ $7.00/HOUR

$6391

$11,529

$12,768

DONATED MATERIAL

$1900

$950.

1100

TOTAL

$8291

$12,479

13,968

 

APPENDIX A

FOPI has monitored the use of Petrie Island since last October=s report to Cumberland Council by counting cars parked at various locations on the Island. The results showing the number of cars and days that counts were taken/month are shown in Table 3. The winter counts include cars parked on the ice in the Canoe Bay and the sand dredging bay.

Cars were on the ice from December to February and ice fishing occurred from December to March. These figures do not include all car counts taken at the picnic area by monitors during the summer but only counts taken for the whole island area.

  1. The PICNIC AREA parking includes parking along the roads and represents use by picnickers and walkers along the trail, a few fishermen and canoe/kayaks also parked there, Maximum count 54 cars.
  2. BOAT AREA, this is the area just south of the picnic area where small boats and canoes are launched, up to10 cars with or without trailers park in this area, a maximum of 23 cars were counted on the ice.
  3. BEACH AREA - cars park at entrance to sand operation and the entrance to the bay in off hours, maximum 6 cars but up to 43 were counted on the ice. No counts were taken of cars on the ice that entered from the bait shop area but 30-40 cars often used this area
  4. CAUSEWAY - parking area, includes cars parked by fishermen, canoers/kayakers, boaters and dog walkers - up to 20 cars counted here. In the early spring many people also park on the road near the bait shop to fish along the roadway.

Petrie Island is a year round recreational area, it=s users include:

FISHING is especially popular in winter, spring and early summer, shore fishing slows by mid summer when growth of weeds blocks much of the shore.

BOATING Most users launch their motorized boats at the bait shop or elsewhere along the river, but many kayaks and canoes are launched at various spots including the picnic area. A few people have started to windsurf when conditions are favourable.

PICNIC AREA A variety of residents now use the picnic area and western trails. The family picnic has become a popular activity on Petrie Island. It provides a natural setting for all ages, from young families to seniors to workers on lunch or coffee break: many also come just to watch the sunset over the river. Children build sand castles on the beach and explore the surrounding natural areas.

NATURE ACTIVITIES Bird watchers visit the island from around the region, many visitors now come to see the turtles and frogs, hundreds of turtles can be seen sunning themselves on a warm sunny day in Turtle pond. Landscape painters and photographers are also making increasing use of the islands along with the many people walking their pets.

OUTINGS There are an increasing number of outings by youth groups, caregivers, schools and seniors.

The many favourable comments on the signs and posters at the island attest to the growing public interest in learning about and preserving this natural area of sandy beaches and marshy lagoons - a rare occurence adjacent to a large urban area.

The figures in Table 3 show an estimated total of over 70,000 visits. The Friends of Petrie Island believe plans to expand the area should begin in the near future and proceed regardless of other potential uses for the island. The increased popularity of the island will require more parking and other improved facilities such as public washrooms. The public, who are the owners of this area, should not have to wait 5 or 10 years for these improvements, including a decent beach area.