FOPI Dispatch (April 2022)

Happy Spring to all our members!

As the Island emerges from hibernation, conversations turn to the 2022 season. And it will be a special one. The Friends of Petrie Island are celebrating 25 years! A small group of passionate people came together in 1997 to protect Petrie’s unique ecology and educate visitors about the importance of conservation and preservation.

To celebrate, we will be launching our Memorial Walk, to acknowledge our volunteers who are no longer with us. As well, stay tuned for a Biodiversity campaign to profile the unique life forms at Petrie Island. We are looking for volunteers to help create an archive of our historical materials for a local library. (Please email us if interested). And we look forward to the next 25 years, working with our three levels of government to find a way to rebuild a Nature Centre. MP Marie-France Lalonde (L – Orleans) has identified this as a local priority. At the municipal level, a refreshed Petrie Island Management Plan will be part of the agenda for the next term of Council. 

Pending funding for summer staff we plan to again offer our Young Naturalist Program for children and youth as well as the Friends and Family tours. Tent and picnic table rentals (which include a barbecue permit) are available through the website. Our trail team will be diligently maintaining the seven kilometers of walking paths. We will continue to build on our educational signage and displays to add to the Petrie Island experience. 

Conservation work is a high priority as well and we will be actively engaging volunteers and partners. Turtle conservation will continue with leadership from our colleagues at the University of Ottawa and the Canadian Wildlife Federation. We also hope to continue the wildflower garden, shoreline erosion remediation, invasive species removal and the tree inventory. Pretty ambitious so if anyone would like to take a lead role with these please send us a message. We had a suggestion to organize a blitz to remove the LLD moth egg masses that are on the trees. If anyone is interested in helping organize one in April please let us know. Several of you have identified an interest in volunteering so if you don’t hear from us in the next month or two please reconnect with us. 

We were delighted to see the success of online registration and payments through our website. We will relaunch a membership drive later this spring but you may do it anytime online. Our FaceBook page, and Group (Petrie Island: Our Small Wilderness) and our Instagram account continue to see high participation. We have some pretty amazing photographers and some strong champions for nature on our platforms! Thank you. 

It looks like spring flooding may pass quickly, which would allow us to restart our Wednesday morning (9-12) workdays. Whether you are at the Island to volunteer, to take in the sights or get some fresh air, do drop into the visitor area and say hi!

Thought for the day –  “The wild places are where we began. Where they end, so do we.” (David Brower)