Southeastern Friends: this year’s accomplishments

Each year, the Friends leave a lasting imprint on the park, and this year was no different. Their passion for parks is unmatched, and make our parks better for all who visit.

Here are some of the amazing 2018 project accomplishments from the southeastern Friends:

The Friends of Presqu’ile

The Friends of Presqu’ile have been part of the fabric of Presqu’ile Provincial Park since 1988, with 2018 marking their 30th year of service and contributions to the park.

blue mat on sand trail

In 2018, the Friends contributed a large amount of funding, in partnership with the Municipality of Brighton, towards the purchase and installation of access mats at Beach #1. This mat walkway provides a smooth surface to allow all visitors to easily navigate their way onto the beach.

This year was also the second year of the Friends’ newly-created Student Bursary Program. Each year, five deserving students are selected from visitor, colleague, and supervisor nominations, and $2,000 in bursary money is awarded.

The Friends also hosted the ever-popular Christmas at Presqu’ile Arts & Crafts show in November, marking the 27th year for this event.

Christmas at Presqu'ile 2015

Finally, their hardworking group of trail monitors and boardwalk builders assisted in numerous repair projects in the park this year. Their hard work helps us keep our trails and viewing platforms in top shape.

volunteers on boardwalk

The Friends of Ferris

The Friends of Ferris may be a small organization, but they are mighty!

In August of 2018, the Friends hosted the 10th annual Dry Stone Wall Restoration workshop, where participants learned the basic techniques of dry laid construction and helped to repair Ferris Provincial Park’s historic stone wall.

stone wall with volunteers standing under sun shelter

This year was also special, as it was the final time this event will be offered at Ferris.

In 2018, final signage and landscaping touches were completed on the playground project that the Friends had contributed to, and that was undertaken in 2017.

group of volunteers on playground

The annual Kite Day in May was also a great success, raising funds towards more of the Friend’s fun events and future projects.

The Friends of Sandbanks

In 2018, the Friends celebrated their 25th anniversary of “Working with Sandbanks Provincial Park to make it an even better place to visit.”

Traditional annual events were held, namely the Family Day festivities at the Maplerest Lodge in March, and SandFest in July.

The Friends also participated in the park’s educational programming events, including their four evening shows of “125 Years of Fashion” and the celebration of 125 years of Ontario Parks with the “125 Kilometre Journey.”

three men cutting cake that says "celebrating 25 years!"

This year, Friends of Sandbanks gave financial support for the installation of interpretive plaques along the Maple Trail, as well as funding to provide benches and rehabilitation of the Dunes Trail, which remedied damage caused by high water in 2017.

Finally, every year they contribute to the buying of trees that are used to remediate disused farm land within the park.

Many thanks to our Friends in the southeast! They work incredibly hard to enhance park experiences for years to come. We sincerely appreciate all you do!