Dispatch #3 – August 28, 2019

By Teyana Aviles Molina

Things are starting to wind down at Petrie Island as summer is coming to an end. We would like to recognize and give a special thank you to our summer students; Emma, Emie, Atirah, Laura and Teyana, as well as part time summer student Justin, for their dedication and hard work. We would also like to thank our summer volunteers; Loriann, Anthony, and Christopher for all their help. Another important acknowledgment goes to our Wednesday Workday staff; Al, Paul, Mike, Steve, Gil, Martin, and Bill, who continuously contribute to the upkeep and restoration of the island.
For our three months here on Petrie Island there were many different projects that were completed following the flood damage. The cleanup and restoration of the area was a major ongoing project throughout the summer. Information boards and other displays were greatly affected by the floods, therefore restoring and improving the boards for the general public was a priority and a continuing task. We also misplaced many of our picnic tables and benches along our trails which were then graciously recovered by our Wednesday Workday staff. Despite many setbacks from the flood, such as starting our season late, we were still able to successfully run tours, our Naturalist Program, turtle conservation efforts, and the Tree Inventory. 
This summer we had great success with our Naturalist Program for Preschool, Junior and Youth. Our Naturalist program this year featured talks about a specific topic, such as Turtles, Frogs etc., with a toured walk around our trails, games related to the subject, and a nature based craft to finish the program. This year our Naturalist program topics were all translated into french allowing our programs to be fully bilingual. Our Youth Naturalist programs were also quite successful with our Youth Naturalists contributing to Petrie Island through the construction and decorating of our new bug hotel, bee houses and bat houses. Thank you to all our Naturalists for a great summer and we hope to see you next year! 
From August 17-18, FOPI held a Tree Inventory! The purpose of this event was to assess the biodiversity and the number of trees on Petrie Island, specifically in the Grand maitre Ecological Reserve. There were many trees affected by flooding, disease, and beavers, therefore, it was important to obtain this data. Sherry, our Head of Communications, meticulously organized the event to ensure it went as smoothly as possible. We had many volunteers able to attend both days to measure and identify trees and we were lucky enough to have two experts, Janet from the Ottawa Stewardship Council and Owen from the Ottawa Field Naturalists to help with the identification. Overall, the Tree Inventory was a success, and we would like to thank our volunteers and experts for helping us make this event possible.

Although we experienced some setbacks this year, through the hard work of our summer staff and volunteers, the generous donations, rentals, tours and programs, we were still able to have a great summer. FOPI hopes to see you all next year for another amazing summer!