partners shaking hands

An exciting new partnership for Killarney

On April 11, 2016, Killarney Provincial Park signed a partnership agreement with Wikwemikong Indigenous Community’s Point Grondine Park.

The two parks will share training and job-shadowing opportunities, exchanging knowledge about park management.

“We’re pleased to be working cooperatively with Wikwemikong,” says Killarney Superintendent Jeremy Pawson. “This partnership demonstrates sustainable resource development opportunities and resource sharing benefits for both provincial parks and Indigenous communities.”

“Our community is really grateful for the opportunity, which solidifies an existing relationship with the park,” adds Luke Wassegijig, Tourism Manager for Wikwemikong Tourism. “It’s great mentoring opportunity.”

partners holding painting
At the signing ceremony, Luke presented Jeremy with a gift from the community, painted by local resident.

Staff learning opportunities

The agreement includes job shadowing and training opportunities for Point Grondine’s backcountry crews. Staff from both parks will travel into the Killarney interior to learn how Ontario Parks completes maintenance and enforcement in the backcountry.

Killarney will also hire a member of the Wikwemikong community as a Park Warden. This warden will learn principles of resource management and sustainable recreation in order to bring the knowledge back to Point Grondine.

rocks with hikers

Other cross-training opportunities include courses in wilderness first aid, orientation, paddling and emergency response.

“We will also be doing an Natural Heritage Education programing exchange and cross-promotion,” Jeremy says.

Point Grondine’s “Trail Guardian” position (similar to an Ontario Parks NHE Leader) will attend and participate in Killarney’s educational programs. The Point Grondine interpreter will also run a few programs at Killarney throughout the summer, and the two parks will promote each other’s events.

Killarney staff members are excited for the opportunity to sit in on some Point Grondine programs in return.

“We offer some First Nation experiences,” says Luke, “including the Making Footprints program – an educational tour where we teach people about medicinal and traditional uses of plants.”

Point Grondine Park (only 29 km from Killarney!)

A First Nation owned and operated recreational park, Point Grondine has over 18,000 acres of scenic natural wilderness landscape, old growth pine forest, stunning river vistas and five interior lakes to explore. Hike, canoe or sea kayak the traditional routes of the Anishnaabek people — you’ll be captivated by this historic and majestic place.

This year, Point Grondine staff is preparing for their first full season of backcountry operations. Interior camping will be available starting on Canada Day weekend.

Congratulations to both parks on this exciting partnership!