Ontario Parks is nothing without our amazing staff. There are many hard-working people behind every visit to our beautiful provincial parks.
One of them is Agnese Bortolussi.
On International Women’s Day, we would like to thank Agnese (Aggie) for her years of hard work!
Aggie is the deputy superintendent of parks at Sandbanks, North Beach and Lake on the Mountain provincial parks.
Aggie has worked for Ontario Parks since 1986. During her career, she worked at Frontenac Provincial Park, Ferris Provincial Park, and finally Sandbanks Provincial Park.
Aggie performing at Spirit Hike, one of the interpretive events that took place in Sandbanks
“There has never been a dull moment working in the parks, because you never know what the day will bring.
Whether helping a client, mentoring students, rescuing a turtle, cleaning the beach, being part of a work crew, participating in interpretive programs or special events, or facing park challenges like flooding or park closure, everything changes. one day to the next. today, what makes life interesting.”
He has helped thousands and thousands of visitors enjoy their visit to Sandbanks, first as a Senior Operations Technician in 1988 and then as Assistant Parks Superintendent since 2011.
“When I started here, visitation was approximately 350,000 visitors a year and today it exceeds 750,000 visitors.
There has been a lot of change and growth over the years: new main entrance, new camper reservation services (we used to process reservations manually!), new campgrounds, new day-use areas, covered accommodations, and new trails.
“It’s been exciting to see that growth and change and be a part of it all.”
Finding your way to the parks
Aggie attended Lakehead University in Thunder Bay for outdoor recreation and natural sciences from 1979 to 1983. During the summer months, she worked for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry as a supervisor at a junior ranger camp near the Quetico Provincial Park.
Aggie receives her 25 year service pin!
After graduating, he helped organize (and participated in) the Rendez-Vous Fort William expedition. This was a recreation of the 1,200 km fur trade route from La Chine Montreal to Old Fort William in Thunder Bay, and was part of the 1984 Ontario Bicentennial celebrations.
“Having graduated with a degree in Outdoor Recreation and Natural Sciences from Lakehead University, being hired by Frontenac Provincial Park as a Wilderness Skills Coordinator to organize and instruct outdoor skills was like a dream come true ”.
Make a difference
Aggie has contributed to the provincial park system in many ways.
He has been actively involved with Friends of Sandbanks volunteers for the past 25 years. She was responsible for organizing some of their major annual events including Sandbanks Fun Run and Terry Fox Run.
Aggie spent 25 years as the Sandbanks Fun Run Run Director!
In 1993, Aggie was the centennial liaison for the southeastern zone of Ontario Parks. She worked with staff across the province to coordinate centennial celebrations across Ontario parks as part of Algonquin Provincial Park’s centennial.
Aggie with the winner of the “Why Sandbanks is Special” story competition, part of the centenary celebration in 1993.
Aggie has helped out at Sandbanks Provincial Park in almost every way possible. She has participated on work teams and has been involved in all aspects of park operations and maintenance.
She has worked gates, performed traffic control, helped educate staff at special events, planted trees and marram grass, and consulted on discrimination and harassment prevention in the workplace. He even trained as a firefighter!
Aggie has made a difference in the experience of so many visitors to Ontario parks.
Thank you, Aggie, for your wonderful years of service!
“After 34 years working in parks, I can still honestly say that I love my job and enjoy coming to work. The best part of my job has always been the people I work with. As hectic and challenging as it can be here at Sandbanks, the staff make the difference.
This place has been like my second home. “I can’t imagine working anywhere else.”