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.
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.
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
Updated and published Birds of Eastern Ontario checklist in partnership with
Renfrew County Field Naturalists and the Renfrew County Stewardship Council.
Ontario Turtles educational materials
including online interactive games, live-size turtle models, and curriculum-based
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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'!