Every year the Friends leave a lasting mark on the park and this year was no different. Their passion for the parks is unmatched and they make our parks better for everyone who visits them.
Here are some of the incredible accomplishments of the Friends of the Southeast 2018 project:
Friends of Presqu’ile
The Friends of Presqu’ile have been part of the fabric of Presqu’ile Provincial Park since 1988, and 2018 marks their 30th year of service and contributions to the park.
In 2018, the Friends contributed significant funding, in partnership with Brighton Borough Council, towards the purchase and installation of access mats at Beach #1. This carpet-like walkway provides a smooth surface that allows all visitors to easily navigate to the beach.
This year was also the second year of the newly created Friends Student Scholarship Program. Each year, five deserving students are selected from nominations from visitors, colleagues and supervisors, and $2,000 in scholarships are awarded.
The Friends also hosted the ever-popular Christmas show at Presqu’ile Arts & Crafts in November, marking the 27th year of this event.
Finally, their hard-working group of trail monitors and boardwalk builders helped with numerous repair projects in the park this year. His hard work helps us keep our trails and viewing platforms in top condition.
The Friends of Ferris may be a small organization, but they are mighty!
In August 2018, the Friends hosted the 10th annual Dry Stone Wall Restoration Workshop, where participants learned basic dry construction techniques and helped repair the historic stone wall at Ferris Provincial Park.
This year was also special as it was the last time this event will be offered in Ferris.
In 2018, the final signage and landscaping touches were completed on the playground project to which the Friends had contributed and which was completed in 2017.
The annual Kite Day in May was also a huge success, raising funds for more fun events and future Friend projects.
Friends of the sandbanks
In 2018, the Friends celebrated their 25th anniversary of “Working with Sandbanks Provincial Park to make it an even better place to visit.”
Traditional annual events were held, namely Family Day festivities at Maplerest Lodge in March and SandFest in July.
The Friends also participated in the park’s educational programming events, including its four nightly “125 Years of Fashion” shows and celebrating 125 years of Ontario Parks with the “125 Kilometer Journey.”
This year, Friends of Sandbanks provided financial support for the installation of interpretive plaques along Maple Trail, as well as funds to provide benches and rehabilitation of the Dunes Trail, which repaired damage caused by flooding in 2017.
Finally, each year they contribute to the purchase of trees that are used to remediate disused agricultural land within the park.
Many thanks to our Southeast Friends! They are working incredibly hard to improve park experiences for years to come. We sincerely appreciate all you do!