More than 60 guests and corporate sponsors of Ontario Parks gathered recently at the 7th Annual Ontario Parks Bursary Awards ceremony to say “thanks for a job well done” to 40 students who worked in provincial parks for the summer.
Students are nominated for the $500 education bursary based on great customer service and for showing initiative, leadership and dedication to promoting our parks. Award recipients this year included maintenance, planning, marketing and customer service staff.
Laura Menard is a bursary recipient from Balsam Lake Provincial Park. As student spokesperson for the event, she told the crowd she has learned a lot from her experience at Ontario Parks.
I have realized what a unique opportunity it is to work at a provincial park. Watching the mist roll off the lake in late spring while setting up the boat rental; issuing permits to families who take pride in having camped at the park since it opened; even walking the beach, crying child in hand, trying to find her mother: these and more are the experiences from which I have learned.
Ontario Parks corporate sponsors make the bursary program possible. The Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Mr. David Ramsay, presented souvenir paddles to 13 of the 23 sponsoring organizations, as a token of appreciation for their generosity.
The final highlight of the day was a live fish feeding demonstration, by the event host and sponsor, Bass Pro Shops. Guests watched as over 100 fish were fed in the store’s huge 113,000-litre aquarium!
The awards ceremony has been a great opportunity for Ontario Parks to applaud outstanding students whose dedication enhances park experiences for every visitor. With the continued support of Ontario Parks corporate sponsors, the bursary program will benefit even more students in the years to come.
Thank you from all of us at Ontario Parks!