Member Group Detail

Friends of Bon Echo

Town: Cloyne

Ontario Nature Region: Ontario East

The Friends of Bon Echo Park is a non-profit organization of volunteers dedicated to preserving the natural and cultural heritage of Bon Echo Provincial Park. The organization values the significance of teamwork in effecting change and strives to act in a manner that is environmentally conscientious. The Friends work with the park and public through education programs, publications, environmental projects, events and presentations. Its board of directors brings a wealth of experience and commitment to the table. All are very familiar with the Park having lived or vacationed in the area for years. All the directors are actively involved in both setting direction and organizing the many projects undertaken by the Friends.

The Friends' volunteers support projects in the Park with revenue generated from a variety of ventures. The Greystones Gift and Book Shop offers a large selection of souvenirs, gifts, books, summer clothing, trail guides and new products. The Wanderer Tour provides interpretive tours around Mazinaw Lake to view the pictographs and unique geology of The Rock as well as a close-up view of the nearly 1000 year-old cedar trees. The Mugwump Ferry shuttles passengers over to the base of the Cliff Top Trail that can be used to ascend the Rock for a panoramic view. The Lagoon Barbecue on Saturday and Sundays provides both a good lunch and a Park information table. The Friends' Raffle includes exciting prizes.

The Friends add to life at Bon Echo Provincial Park in a variety of ways. Their contribution to the Natural Heritage Education program enables the Park to provide educational programs to nearly 60,000 visitors each summer. Special amphitheatre presentations are sponsored by the Friends and the local community is encouraged to participate. The theme of the annual art exhibition and sale is "Original Art of Canadian Nature, Wildlife and Countryside". Over forty juried artists showcase their work, drawing visitors from Quebec to Toronto. Presentations on Park natural history, music, children's activities and a great food tent and barbecue round out this event. The Park vehicle entry fee allows the entire family to access the art exhibition as well as the beaches, gift shop, tour boats, canoe rentals and trails for the day. "Echoes from the Rock" is the newsletter published by the Friends of Bon Echo Park. It is distributed semi-annually to all members highlighting recent and current activities of the Friends, future projects, and other tidbits of information.

In 2014 the Friends are celebrating their 26th Anniversary. Two current projects launched by the Friends include refurbishment of the amphitheatre seating and building and the rehabilitation of the Cliff Top Trail. Goals of the trail project include improving safety for the over 30,000 annual visitors, reducing the erosion of the area adjacent to the trail and renewing the viewing decks.

For more information visit the Friends of Bon Echo Park website.

For more information please contact Ontario Nature at 1-800-440-2366 or info@ontarionature.org.

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