Established in 1992, the 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.
FBP celebrated its 30th anniversary. Bonnechere Provincial Park its celebrated 55th anniversary. To guide our organization over the coming years, the FBP Board initiated a strategic planning process. Received funding from Canada’s Tourism Relief Fund to build two new accessible Footprints in Time trails and a barrier-free washroom at Bonnechere Provincial Park. Project includes the redevelopment of the FBP website, which will include a virtual tour of these new trails and a relaunch of the Land of the Spirits virtual exhibit of artefacts.
Published the second edition of Walks of the Little Bonnechere with the support of the Ottawa Valley Tourist Association, The Friends of Algonquin Park and Bonnechere Provincial Park staff.
In response to the global COVID pandemic, the FBP supported the Park staff in pivoting to online presentation of programming, including hosting a virtual version of our annual wolf howl with naturalist Mike Runtz.
Launched our new FBP 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 designed by Juila Biesenthal-Mielke, a Park alumnus who has spent time at the Park since she was a child.
With the assistance of provincial Enabling Accessibility funding, we installed hardened paths and mobi-mats, and purchased all-terrain chairs. Now Park visitors with accessibility 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 its 50th year and the FBP marked 25 years in service. Bonnechere Park was established by Ontario Parks as a centennial project back in 1967. In 1992, 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'!
Along with Park staff and Killaloe's Community Resource Centre, FBP co-hosted first annual Winter Magic, a celebration of the snowy season. 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.
FBP celebrated its 20th anniversary. Bonnechere Provincial Park celebrated its 35th anniversary. The FBP received the 2012 Canadian Parks Council's Ontario Merit award for the Footprints in Time (FIT) Trail Project. 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..
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. This included the publication of FIT Trail How-To Guide, and the development of the McNaughton Trail at Bonnechere Park.
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.
FBP celebrated its 25th anniversary. Bonnechere Provincial Park celebrated its 40th anniversary. 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 cultural 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.
FBP Board of Directors undertook a five-year Strategic Planning Exercise to set the path for future growth; funded by Ontario Trillium Foundation. Joined provincial Journeys of Discovery tourism product alliance to market Adventures in Time tourism package, in partnership with Bonnechere Caves and Bonnechere Museum. Published Birds of the Upper Ottawa Valley Checklist in partnership with Pembroke and Area Field Naturalists, Renfrew County Stewardship Program, and Renfrew County and District Health Unit Healthy Living Partnership. Historic Resources of the Bonnechere River Watershed partnered the FBP with Bonnechere Caves, Bonnechere Museum and Archaeo Expeditions to promote cultural exploration, research and historic archaeological programming. Funded by Cultural Strategic Investment Fund - Ontario Ministry of Culture and Woods Canada.
FBP celebrated its 10th anniversary. Bonnechere Provincial Park celebrated its 35th anniversary. 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.
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 provincial conference: Cultural Heritage Tourism: Partnering for New Business Opportunities. Facilitated Cultural Heritage Tourism Product Partnership: Adventures In Time. Partners included Anishinabe Experience, Bonnechere Caves and Canadian Voyageur Adventures and Algonquin Provincial Park. Funded by Canada Ontario Business Recovery Assistance Plan. Shell Canada funded Bridging Nature's Treasures: the restoration of several bridges along the Park's woodland trails. Volunteer labour provided by Federation of Ontario Naturalists and 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.
Published 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'!