Established in 1992, the Friends of Bonnechere Parks (FBP) is a non-profit, community-based, charitable organization with a mandate to preserve and protect the natural and cultural heritage of the Little Bonnechere River in the Ottawa Valley.

After more than 25 years, it was time for the FBP to have a new look. In 2019 we introduced our new brand: a stylized turtle with tree rings on its shell that illustrates our affinity for the natural and cultural heritage of the Little Bonnechere River. The logo was design by Juila Biesenthal-Mielke, a Park alumnus who has spent time at the Park since she was a child.

With the assistance of Enabling Accessibility funding, we installed hardened paths and mobi-maths, and purchased all-terrain chairs. Now Park visitors with accessiblity challenges, along with their families and friends, can access our sandy beach and the refreshing waters of Round Lake. In 2018 we also marked the silver anniversary of our wolf howl, which we've co-hosted for 25 years with renowned educator and naturalist Mike Runtz.

Not only did we celebrate Canada 150, Bonnechere Provincial Park celebrated it's 50th year and the FBP marked 25 years in service. Bonnchere Park was established by Ontario Parks as a centennial project back in 1967. In 1992, the Friends of Bonnechere Parks were estalished to support three local parks: Bonnechere, Bonnechere River and Foy. That's why it's the Friends of Bonnechere Parks with an 's'!

Along with Park staff and Killaloe's Community Resource Centre, the FBP co-hosted the first annual Winter Magic, a celebration of the snowy season. Events included guided snowshoe hike, storytime, a quinzee, giant ice crystals, campfire, hot dogs, s'mores and much more!

In August 2014 we launched our Renfrew County Book Tree. Made from the trunk of a massive white pine, estimated to be about a century old, Bonnechere's Book Tree stands at the entrance to the Davenport Centre, overlooking the beach on Round Lake. Park visitors and campers are invited to come by, leave a book and take a book. Then, sit under the tall pines and share a story.

The FBP received the 2012 Canadian Parks Council's Ontario Merit award for the Footprints in Time (FIT) Trail Project. The McNaughton FIT Trail is a shaded 2-km pathway that meanders along the shores of the Little Bonnechere River where it flows into Round Lake. It features a time machine that The Depot and a series of trailside interpretive posts dubbed museum on a stick.

Supported by several community partners, the FBP received funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation for the Active Transportation: Culture Shift project to promote walking, cycling and other non-motorized modes of transportation across Renfrew County. This collaborative initiative included the design, development and distribution of a communication tool kit, promotional materials and Designed to Move educational tools. It also spurred the establishment of the Silver Chain Challenge, a friendly competition between the residents of Renfrew County and Lanark County held each June.

With funding from the Ontario Ministry of Health Promotion and Sport, and the support of several cross-sectorial partners including KidActive, the FBP developed the Footprints in Time (FIT) Trail Enhancement project.

Co-hosted Return to Basin weeklong archaeological dig with Ontario Archaeological Society Ottawa Chapter, including one-day public dig complete with guided tours. Developed Habitat: There for the Birds educational materials including online interactive games, interactive display panels for the Davenport Centre, and curriculum-based outreach programs-in-a-box. Updated and published Birds of Eastern Ontario checklist in partnership with Renfrew County Field Naturalists and the Renfrew County Stewardship Council.

Developed Saving Ontario Turtles educational materials including online interactive games, live-size turtle models, and curriculum-based outreach programs-in-a-box. Co-hosted Natural History Day in partnership with the Renfrew County Field Naturalists and the Renfrew County Stewardship Council. Produced interpretive trail signs for McNaughton Trail the Bonnechere Park, describing local Species at Risk and biodiversity, and encouraging visitors to protect both.

Funded the production of Ottawa River art prints based on original paintings by Ben Babelowsky, in support of the Ottawa River Heritage Designation Committee.

After a year of hard work, the FBP launched Land of the Spirits, a virtual exhibit developed in partnership with Canada Heritage for the Virtual Museum Canada. Thanks to funding from Renfrew County Community Futures, we also developed a set of three interpretive panels for the Lafleur Homestead.

The FBP established a roundtable of advisors to facilitate the development of a virtual exhibit featuring the natural and cutural heritage of the Little Bonnechere River. We also received funding from Renfrew County Community Futures to develop an interpretive panel for the new playground on the beach.

Active Lifestyles for an Active Community promotes healthy and safe recreational opportunities in a social setting. The FBP, in partnership with the Killaloe Lions Club and the Renfrew County Stewardship Council, received funding from the Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Recreation to host a series of hands-on activities to get seniors more involved in the outdoors.

Reflecting upon 10 years of operation and continued success, in June 2003 the FBP Board of Directors undertook a five-year Strategic Planning Excercise to set the path for future growth and development. The program was funded through the generosity of The Ontario Trillium Foundation.

Joined the provincial Journeys of Discovery tourism product alliance to market the Adventures in Time tourism package, in partnership with Bonnechere Caves and the Bonnechere Museum.

Published Birds of the Upper Ottawa Valley checklist in partnership with a variety of partners including the Pembroke and Area Field Naturalists, the Renfrew County Stewardship Program and the Renfrew County and District Health Unit Healthy Living Partnership.

Historic Resources of the Bonnechere River Watershed partnered the FBP with Bonnechere Caves, the Bonnechere Museum and Archaeo Expeditions to develop/promote cultural exploration, research and historic archaeological programming. Funding was received from the Cultural Strategic Investment Fund administered by the Ontario Ministriey of Culture. Woods Canada also supported this initiative.

Co-hosted Ontario Living Legacy Ottawa River Tourism Corridor Workshop which brought together 35 key tourism staff from communities and agencies along the waterway to strategically look at market development and communication for an enhanced tourism corridor. Host partners were the Town of Petawawa and the Renfrew County Community Futures Development Corporation.

Co-published Walks of the Little Bonnechere in cooperation with the Renfrew County and District Healthy Living Partnership and the Friends of Algonquin Park. Features ten self-guided hikes along the Little Bonnechere River – one of the Ottawa Valley's most historic waterways.

Friends of Bonnechere Parks celebrated 10th anniversary.
Bonnechere Provincial Park celebrated 35th anniversary.

Published interactive CD: Visiting the Spirits which takes modern-day travellers on a journey back in time via the personal computer. Funded by the Rural Job Strategy Fund Secretariat, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and profits from the Cultural Heritage Tourism Conference.

Opened Phase I of Davenport Cultural Resource Centre with $70 000 seed funding from Ontario Parks, and the generosity of contractors, suppliers, volunteers and private donors. The goal is to create a multi-use facility which will be the nucleus for interpretive programming and visitor services facility development at Bonnechere Provincial Park and neighbouring communities.

Partnered with OVTA to host a provincial conference: Cultural Heritage Tourism: Partnering for New Business Opportunities. Over 200 delegates attended from across Ontario and speakers included Canada's National Archivist Ian Wilson, and Travel Alberta International's Greg Belland.

Facilitated a new Cultural Heritage Tourism Product Partnership: Adventures In Time - Time Travel Through the Ottawa Valley. These unique vacation packages escorted travellers on adventures through time from 500-million-years ago to present-day. Partners included Anishinabe Experience, Bonnechere Caves and Canadian Voyageur Adventures and Algonquin Provincial Park. Support funding was provided by the Canada Ontario Business Recovery Assistance Plan

Shell Canada funded Bridging Nature's Treasures, which involved the restoration of several bridges along the Park's woodland trails. Volunteer labour was provided by Federation of Ontario Naturalists and the Ontario Ranger Youth Employment program.

Co-published A Driving Tour of the Bonnechere River Watershed, with the Ottawa Valley Tourist Association (OVTA).

Adopted Marshall the Turtle as mascot and introduced four new animal friends in the Best of Friends Fun Book.

Ontario Ministry of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation, and Ontario Parks contributed towards the publication of Discover the Spirits of the Little Bonnechere - A Cultural Heritage Activity Book for Youth.

Publication of premiere publication: Spirits of the Little Bonnechere - A History of Exploration, Logging and Settlement, 1800 to 1920 in partnership with the Friends of Algonquin Park.

Developed wetlands viewing platform at Bonnechere Park with financial support from the Shell Canada Environmental Fund and C.A. Reiche and Sons.

The Friends of Bonnechere Parks were established to support three local parks: Bonnechere, Bonnechere River and Foy. That's why it's the Friends of Bonnechere Parks with an 's'!


Promote awareness of local natural and cultural heritage through education programming, and infrastructure, and by encouraging volunteerism.

Increase strategic alliances between the FBP and various not-for-profit, private and public sector groups.

Increase capacity for self-reliance of the FBP by exploring access to funding for natural and cultural heritage projects.

Generate funding revenues towards the development of the Davenport Cultural Resource Centre at Bonnechere Provincial Park.

Promote market development of the Ottawa Valley's heritage and culture industries.

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