THE OFFICIAL NEWSLETTER OF THE FRIENDS OF FRONTENAC PARK
Winter 2005 Number 41


Erhard Steps Down

Park superintendent present Erhard with a Certificate of Appreciation for over 20 year of volunteer service at the park.Speech given at the AGM by Jérôme McDuff

It is official. At the AGM 2004, Erhard Frenzl decided not to run for re-election as a director of the Friends of Frontenac. He chose to pass the torch and it's the end of an era. A little bird told me that Erhard was the last of the original members of the first board of the Friends to "retire" from a position he apparently held continuously since the inception of the Friends of Frontenac. I don't trust little birds, so I decided to investigate.

Believe it or not, Erhard was there before there was a Board. He was part of the Founding Committee that determined whether there should be a group called The Friends of Frontenac Park. The first organizational meeting occurred on 26-September-1990. Attendance was by invitation only - a gathering of seasoned outdoor enthusiasts. Here is the list - see if you can recognize some of the names: Erhard, Chris Barber, Terry Fuchs, Art Beck (the chair person), Kris Bowes, "Cookie" Cartwright, David Hahn, Karl Montgomery, James Raffan, and Ann Robertson. At the end of the meeting, they concluded that Frontenac should have Friends. At that time there were only eight Ontario provincial parks with Friends' organizations.

The "Founding Committee" gave itself one year to set the Friends up. They did a name search, completed the incorporation and charitable status legal papers, defined the objectives of The Friends, drafted the constitution and bylaws, found a logo, came up with the motto "Return a Favour to Nature", and designed the membership brochure. The last task of the Founding Committee was to find a Board of Directors for the newly created Friends' organization. They advertised and wrote letters to prospective candidates and were able to round up 37 keen people on the 28-September-1991 at 16h00 for the first ever AGM of the Friends of Frontenac Park. An election took place and the first eight directors were: Simon Smith, Janine Papadopoulos, Frank B. Edwards, Nancy Carson, Alec Ross, Mark Millan, Robert Dennis, and Kris Bowes. Notice that our friend Erhard was not part of this happy bunch... ah ha, the little bird was wrong! Their work accomplished, the Founding Committee dissolved... but Erhard was not done.

About six months later (in March 1992), three of the board members resigned (two moved out of province and one for personal reasons) and Erhard accepted to join the Board as interim director. He was duly elected to the Board on 25-October-1992 at the second AGM. He's been there continuously until this latest AGM, at which time he decided to step down. The Friends marked the occasion by commissioning a commemorative plaque, signed by the Minister of Natural Resources, and presented to him by Park Superintendent Lloyd Chapman.

In his tenure as a board member, I estimate that Erhard attended about 150 Board meetings (not counting the AGM and various committee meetings) -- a major accomplishment in my eyes.

Erhard's involvement with the Park pre-dates the 26-September-1990 milestone. According to the first Friends' newsletter (Alec Ross wrote a profile of Erhard that filled the first page - another first!) He started at the Park around 1982 when he led some Air Cadets on a trip. Erhard was then an instructor (trip-leader) for the Dwight Ross Air Cadet Squadron. Lloyd Chapman, the Park superintendent, asked Erhard and his Air Cadets to volunteer to fix the portage between Big and Little Salmon Lakes. Erhard and his merry squadron accepted and he has been volunteering at the Park since -- that's over 20 years!

In the early days, the Park had two staff designated as Wilderness Skills Coordinators. They ran among other things the winter camping course. When funding dried up and the Park lost the two positions, Erhard and Art Beck stepped forward. In February 1993, they conducted the Friends' ever-popular Winter Camping Planning session followed by Instructional Camping weekends. This event, to this day, is one of the best fundraisers for The Friends. Erhard not only slept in a "snow bank" for the Friends but he did it also simultaneously for the Air Cadets. Imagine, one weekend for the Friends' and the next for the Air Cadets, then the Friends, then the Air Cadets again. I often joked that he slept outside more weekends in January and February than he did inside. What dedication... he spent about 10 years sleeping in a quinze in the freezing cold of January and February.

Erhard was involved in practically every work bee at the Park. He is adamant about keeping the camping facilities clean so that visitors would actually use them. I had the privilege of learning "the Frenzl's privy cleaning method" directly from the master. It requires skill and experience to perform that special twist when you empty the water bucket! MacDuff, the Scottish king maker himself came back to life one evening to crown Mr. Frenzl the "King of the Park Volunteers" -- I speak the truth there were witnesses!

I think Erhard is an addict. He is addicted to the beauty of this park. He spends most of his free time there -- not just enjoying himself... but working... always working. He should be on the payroll! For example, one recent Saturday we came to the Park to find the Trail Centre closed. So I decided to take the day off too. No work for me today; I went on to enjoy a hike in the park... but not him. He spent the day wrapping chicken-wire around trees at campsite 9 to protect them from beavers. He then serviced the whole campsite to get it ready for the winter. This certainly shows that he can work unsupervised. That's why he is trusted by the park staff (He has the keys to the Salmon Road gate and the Trail Centre foyer!) and for good reason. He shows up at least once a week, is dependable, conscientious, and will do anything that is asked of him without objection. He has been like that since 1982.

Erhard is a good friend of mine and a better friend to the Park. As much as Erhard cares about the Friends organization -- and he proved it by serving all these years on the Board of directors -- make no mistake, he cares even more about the Park. That is where his true loyalty lies. He will keep on volunteering. Hats off and a heartfelt thank you to Mr. Erhard Frenzl.

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President's Message

Much of The Friends work goes on with little publicity. I discussed this matter in my annual report last year -- the silent volunteer who makes things happen but who isn't in the spot light. Our Board of Directors fall into this category of silent volunteers. While our events are well know and publicized, much of the background work of these events are known only to a few people. For example, you wouldn't believe the work that goes into organizing the Frontenac Challenge. It appears to be a well organized event, and it is, but the logistical work behind the event is enormous.

There is also the unglamorous administrative work of the Board that doesn't happen in the Park, but is much needed. Someone needs to file our PST remittance every six months. Someone else needs to keep the minutes of our Board meeting. And another person needs to reply to correspondence and empty our mailbox.

For the last few months, our Board has been mulling over a better way for us to manage and operate The Friends. This is the work that our Directors quietly work on behind the scene that our members and visitors to the Park rarely see. What we have right now works, but there has been a lingering thought that there may be a better way of doing what we do.

One of the first things we're going to do is strike a membership committee. While we've always had a designated person on the Board responsible for the administrative task of membership record keeping, we need to devote more resources to recruiting and retaining our members. Members are crucial for the success of The Friends. Without members, we can't sweep trails, run a host program, present the Frontenac Challenge, or lead nature walks. Our current membership list is strong for a park like Frontenac, but the more members we have helping, the more we can do for Frontenac Park.

Shortly after the frost leaves the ground next spring, you will see the fruition of our first effort to increase membership; a sign outside the Trail Centre promoting The Friends, including a dispenser for our pamphlets and newsletters. We hope that by increasing our profile at the Park we will see an increase in membership.

Our Board members, particularly those new the Board, are bursting with great ideas to supplement and enhance Frontenac Park. And it isn't just our Directors with great ideas, our members and visitors to the Park have just as many great ideas. Every time I'm at the Trail Centre, someone approaches me with a great suggestion for the Park. The trick is turning ideas into finished projects. To achieve more projects, the Board will now hold a special project meeting each December (just after the Annual General Meeting) to select 2 or 3 projects that the Board wants to take on next year. A committee will be formed for each project. While the committees will be chaired by a Director, members are welcomed and encouraged to be on the committees. Hopefully, having a dedicated group of people focused on one specific project will help to ensure great ideas turn into finished projects. Check the Spring Newsletter for more information on our projects for 2005.

We're carefully balancing the "if it isn't broken, don't fix it" thought with the "we can do better" approach. Our management and operations of The Friends is not broken, but we know we can do more for Frontenac Park. We hope the few changes we're making will allow us to return more favours to nature.

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome two new members to the Board of Directors of The Friends of Frontenac Park. Pat Baker is taking on secretarial responsibilities for the Board. Pat is a regular visitor to Frontenac Park and has found the park one of the many things that he enjoys having recently moved to the area. Joining the Board as a director-at-large this year is Michael Doyle. Michael is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys being in Frontenac Park all seasons of the year.

Leaving us for new challenges in life are John Dorland and Erhard Frenzl. John has served as our membership director for the past three years. After many, many, many years serving on the Board, Erhard Frenzl has decided to take it a little easier this year by stepping down from the Board. You can read more about Erhard's life and times on the Board in this edition of the Newsletter.

Your 2004/2005 Board is enthusiastic about returning a favour to nature. In fact, after the first meeting of the new Board, three new events have been added to the 2005 schedule. In addition to our two trail sweeps, we are adding a spring Trail Centre Spruce-Up day. Two events join our Fall schedule: a Historical Walk along Big Salmon Lake Road, and a hike of Big Salmon Lake Loop to celebrate Ontario Hiking Day. As a twist to our nature walks, we're holding the summer nature walk on water. Bring your canoe for a summer nature paddle to explore the aquatic environment of Big Salmon Lake. Check the Spring/Summer Newsletter for information on these and other events.

Paul Vickers

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Outside

Here is a list of upcoming activities that maybe of interest to you. Please participate and tell your friends about them This logo * denotes Friends' sponsored activities Do not forget that you will need to purchase a daily vehicle or camping permit to take part in most of these activities. Contact the Park (376 3489) for more information.

* Monday December 6, 2004: Deadline for Submissions for Winter Newsletter We welcome your articles, letters, stories and photographs. Material should be sent to the Friends' address shown on the back page or e mailed to "harvguy@kos.net". For electronic items, please send articles as Microsoft Word files with minimum formatting, and photographs as 180 dpi greyscale. If necessary/possible, please compress (zip) files before sending.

* Monday, January 10: Friends Board Meeting Location LCVI, Room 120 at 19:00

* Saturday, January 22: Winter Camping - Planning This presentation by the Friends will cover all you need to give winter camping a try. Make sure you book one of the two weekends (see below) to camp with the instructors. Please come dressed for the weather and the trails. Time: 10:00 to 15:30 at the Trail Centre. To register contact the Trail Centre at 376-3489.

* Sunday, January 23: Winter Fun Day and Nature Walk This is a ski or snowshoe day for people of all ages and all levels. There will be three different guided ski or snowshoe outings. Volunteers will serve hot chocolate in front of the fireplace in the Trail Centre after the outings. Everyone should dress in layers for the weather, bring your own ski or snowshoe equipment, including a small backpack with water, a hot drink, and snack. Please meet at the Trail Centre. See “Winter Fun Day” article in this publication for more details, departures times and levels of difficulty.

* February 5-6: Winter Camping Weekend #1 (or Weekend #2 on February 12-13) Choose one of these two weekends to acquire and practice winter camping skills. Food will be provided. Prerequisite - "Winter Camping - Planning" given on January 22. Cost: $55.00 ea. plus interior camping fee; Time: 10:00 Saturday to 15:30 Sunday. To register contact the Trail Centre at 376-3489.

* February 12-13: Winter Camping Weekend #2 See Above.

* Monday, February 14: Friends Board Meeting Location LCVI, Room 120 at 19:00

* Tuesday, February 15: Winter Lecture -- Hiking on Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage in Spain See separate article in this issue for more content information. To attend this free winter lecture sponsored by the Friends. meet at the Wilson Room of the Kingston Public Library (Johnson Street) at 19:00 sharp. The presentation should conclude by 21:00.

* Monday, March 7: Friends Board Meeting Location LCVI, Room 120 at 19:00

* Monday, March 21: Deadline for Submissions for the Spring/Summer Newsletter We welcome your articles, letters, stories and photographs. Material should be sent to the Friends' address shown on the back page or e mailed to "harvguy@kos.net". For electronic items, please send articles as Microsoft Word files with minimum formatting, and photographs as 180 dpi greyscale. If necessary/possible, please compress (zip) files before sending.

* Thursday, March 31: Your Friends Membership Ends We need your support so please renew your membership for another year. And don't forget, renew early and have a chance to win the ever-popular Tilley hat!

* Saturday, April 9: Volunteer/Guide/Host Training Would you like to volunteer at the Park? Come to this training session offered by the Park staff and the Friends at the Trail Centre. Time: 09:00 to 15:30; Contact the Park (376 3489) for details.

* Monday, April 11: Friends Board Meeting Location LCVI, Room 120 at 19:00

* Saturday, April 16: Guide Trail Sweep The Volunteers/Guides will do general maintenance on the Park's trails to get them in top shape for our visitors. Meet at the Trail Centre at 08:30 to 16:30; Contact the Park (376 3489) for details.

* Sunday, April 17: Spring Frog Walk Join the Friends on a leisurely walk to spot the various species of frogs. The trail will be chosen at a later date in an effort to maximize the frog spotting potential. Time will be approx. 2 hours. Meet at the Trail Centre at 12:30. Bring your binoculars, camera, drink, and snack.

* Sunday, May 8: Spring Nature Walk Join the Friends on a leisurely walk to discover the flowers and animal life on the Doe Lake Loop (3 km). Bring your binoculars, camera, drink, snack and your bug repellent. Meet at the Trail Centre at 12:30.

* Monday, May 9: Friends Board Meeting Location LCVI, Room 120 at 19:00

* Sunday, May 15: Trail Centre Clean Up Meet at the Trail Centre at 08:00 and join us in a general tidying up of the place in time for another busy season.

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Hiking the Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage in Spain

The Friends of Frontenac are once again pleased to present a talk and slide presentation on one of the worlds premier hiking routes as seen through the eyes of some local members of the Rideau Trail Association.

This year's speakers will be "The Three Peregrinos" - Bill Murdoch, Audrey Sanger and Joan Bailey. They will present an illustrated talk about their hiking experience on the 781 km Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage in Spain.

The Camino de Santiago route was declared the first European Cultural Route by the Council of Europe in October 1987 and inscribed as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1993. In 2003, 74,614 people received the Compostela (certificate of completion). In the latest Holy Year, 1999, 154,613 people completed the minimum required distance (100 km walking, 200 km biking).

The Santiago de Compostel is an important pilgrimage route for Christians. According to legend, the Apostle Saint James, is buried in the Cathedral. Modern science has disputed the fact that the apostle ever reached Spain. People are attracted to the pilgrimage because of the historical atmosphere, the adventure, as well as the physical challenge which casts a spell on the contemporary traveler.

While many people come from their homes throughout Europe, most start the pilgrimage somewhere along the 800 km route in northern Spain.

Plan to join us for an evening of adventure and discovery!

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Frontenac Challenge

The 2004 Challenge is over for another year and 125 people completed the entire 160 km.

This year 24 participants, a very substantial number, joined the "5 year club", including the all of the Clinton and Willis families - well done! A special salute also goes out to Sandra Laing who now is a member of the prestigious "10 year Club". What a tremendous accomplishment, congratulations to you, and all of the participants.

There is always a great deal of enthusiasm among the people who sign up to do the Challenge. There are the old guard who know the ropes of the event and the new comers who are looking inquisitively at the map to figure out the best way to combine the trails and to form the figure eights to make sure that each centimeter of the 160km is covered. But in the end when it is all done people have many stories to tell.

Congratulations go to the following hikers who completed the Frontenac Challenge in 2004.

First year: Andrew Babcock, Rachel Baergen, Pat Baker, Joe Baldock, Geoff Banks, Alanna Boucher, Sharon Collins, Sandra Crocker, Patrick Curtin, Amy Dahm, Kathy De Benedetti, Richard Faulkner, Jennifer Foote, John Hambleton, Jeff Hepburn, Rita Hetherton, Tony Holmes, Rob Irvin, Heather Jamieson, Dagmar Jones, Andrew Ledger, Rhéal Legault, Esther Lim, Sue Maki, Patti McCauly, Michael Newstead, John Palassio, Beth Peterson, Dana Pilling, Danuta Pisarek, Marion Polk, Finnegan Swandel, Nicholas Swandel, Linda Therien, Mel Therien, Cathy Wilkinson, Tammie Winsor.

2 years: Carynne Arnold, Stephen Arnold, Joan Bailey, Bruce Bromfield, Morris Buckner, Anna Chadwick, Malcolm Cunningham, Jordan Goudreau, Bill Hiemstra, Rose Millett, John Nugent, Debbie O'Donnell, Chris Onysko, Casey Onysko, Kim Onysko, Leszek Pisarek, Regina Prokopczuk, Ken Shaver, Linda Turnbull, Donna Vinkle, Margaret Wild .

3 years: John Blackwell, Cookie Cartwright, John Critchley, Gayle Desarmia, Yvonne Hawkins, Andrew Hills, Sandra Muis, Don Turnbull, Christina Wilcox.

4 years: Sean Blenkinsop, Les C. Cseh, Cam Hodges, Jane Hough, Robert Hough, Fred Luciani, Ted Phillips.

5 years: Grant Asselstine, Gary Birrell, Michele Chittenden, Alex Clinton, Bob Clinton, Danielle Clinton, Kris Clinton, Kayla Clinton, Sue Clinton, Lorraine Flooks, Kathy Francis, Dave Lucas, Amber (dog) Maloney, Tassa (dog) Maloney, Paul Markle, Tom Mawhinney, Richard Moller, Donna North, Irene O'Brien, Henk Pardoel, Cheryl Stevenson, Laurie Weaver, Celina Willis, David Willis, Elisabeth Willis, Tristan Willis.

6 years: Rick Blasko, Sally Blasko, Don Bond, Bill Murdoch, Beth Orr, Barbara Pusch, Val Ruttan.

7 years: David Armitage, Sharon McIlroy, Maureen Sly.

8 years: Peter Burbidge, Jim Maloney, Rita Maloney, Joe Pollock.

9 years: Mike Carmody, Joyce Duncan, Rudy Duncan, Dora Hunter, Vince Jewitt, Hugh Pratt.

10 years: Sandra Laing.

11 years: Murray Henderson, Donald King, Ruth King.

12 years: Audrey Sanger.

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President's Report - AGM November 7, 2004

By Paul Vickers

A couple of months ago, I enjoyed the opportunity to attend Ontario Parks' Provincial Friends Workshop hosted by The Friends of Killarney Park. This was a workshop where representatives from various Friends organizations learn how to be a more effective, and learn about the successes (and problems) of other Friends organizations. In talking with many people, there were two common themes I kept hearing.

First, people view Frontenac Park as a gem in the Ontario Parks system. I'm not telling you something you didn't already know, but to hear this repeatedly from other Friends organizations is noteworthy. I heard many cherished stories of past visits to Frontenac Park, from people who have visited the park once, to those that try to visit every year or so.

Second, stories of the work of The Friends of Frontenac Park have traveled many miles. We are a well respected Friends organization. We are viewed as an organization that significantly supplements and enhances the natural qualities and facilities of Ontario Parks. If people were asked to rank Friends organizations, we would be in the top 5, clustered with Friends organizations with paid staff, and hundreds, if not thousands, of members.

Frontenac Park's wilderness skills program is known for miles around. We supplement the wilderness skills program with our winter camping program, and new to us this year, a map and compass course. Many visitors to Frontenac Park were introduced to its natural environment by our six nature walks, with the Frog Walk being our most popular.

Many people had heard of our Frontenac Challenge, and those who had never heard of the Challenge were curious as to what the Challenge involves. Most people could not believe that we have over 100 people each year complete the Challenge.

People also shared stories of visiting Frontenac Park in the winter. Their visit was made that little extra special by finding a host at the Trail Centre serving hot chocolate and sharing their knowledge of the Park.

Our website is viewed as a model for other Friends organizations. In the spring and summer, we get between two and three thousand unique visitors a month. In fact, our website has caught the attention of Ontario Parks head-office. I was asked to share the success of our website with other Friends organizations at the Provincial Meeting by being one of three panelists at a website workshop.

I also took the chance to promote some of our other programs and projects that haven't traveled as many miles. This year, we provided financing for the third printing of Their Enduring Spirits. With only a handful of copies left, and no publisher willing to do a third printing, the book would have gone out of print. The book was written to document the history of Frontenac Park. It would have been disappointing if this historical book had become history itself.

We purchased and planted a few hundred trees this spring to fill the gaps around trails, campsites and the Trail Centre. As I once heard, planting a tree is the most unselfish thing a person can do.

The Provincial Friends meeting was not the first place I've heard of The Friends of Frontenac Park being held in high respect. This spring, The Friends voiced their concern over repairs to the Mitchell Creek Bridge at an open-house hosted by the Township. There is a possibility, although in my opinion a small chance, that the navigable clearance will be increased when the bridge is replaced. As you can read in more detail in the Fall Newsletter, there is concern that increasing the clearance will result in more boats on Birch Lake, and therefore, more disturbance and human presence at the north end of the Park. With approximately 20 people in attendance, I heard people refer to the work of The Friends several times in their presentation. Many people were pleased that The Friends were commenting on the bridge repairs. We are respected by the local community.

I have often remarked to people that I can't take the credit for our success. Our dedicated volunteers have earned this well deserved reputation and respect. Our volunteers donate nearly 2,000 hours of their time to Frontenac Park each year, and those are the hours that we know about. Frontenac Park is a beautiful place to visit, but the work of our volunteers make Frontenac Park a special place to visit.

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Thanks to Our Volunteers

The volunteers at Frontenac Park have once again made a difference. Through their volunteer hours they are able to help the Park staff. The ongoing tasks of trail maintenance, bridge building, running special events and hosting at the trail centre are only a few ways that volunteers are needed at the Park. Thank you to all who have given so freely of their time and if we have inadvertently overlooked anyone please accept our apologies.

For more information about being a volunteer please contact the Park Office at (613) 376-3489.

Ron Abbott, Bernie Adell, Paul Alexandre, Christine Ark, David Armitage, Patrick Baker, Sandy Barr, Rick Blasko, Sally Blasco, Elgin Bock, Dean Brown, Peter Burbidge, Dugald Carmichael, Kay Cartwright, Bob Clooney, John Critchley, Eric Deeks, Faye Dennis, Robert Dennis, Ivan DeRome, Gayle Desmaria, John Dorland, Michael Doyle, Ted Dufresne, Joshua Elliott, Janet Fenton, Nicole Fenton, Rob Fillion, Erhard Frenzl, Bill Grant, Harvey Guy, Anissa Hashem, Audrey Helmstaedt, Herb Helmstaedt, Murray Henderson, Dora Hunter, Vince Jewitt, Rose Jones, Don King, Jane Kitchen, Peter Langeveld, David Laverty, Emilie Laverty, Jérôme McDuff, Joan McDuff, Sonya Meek, Mark Millan, Cathy Murray, Nathan Nesdoly, Donna North, Janet Olson, John Olson, Martin Oomen, Adrienne Patterson, Colin Phillips, Marie Phillips, Ted Phillips, Hugh Pratt, Val Ruttan, Audrey Sanger, Sandra Schmitter, Gloria Seeley, Joan Simpson, Maureen Sly, Simon Smith, Barb Smith, Don Stables, Heather Stables, Cheryl Stevenson, Nancy Turkington, Robin Turkington, Paul Vickers, Laurie Weaver,

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Winter Fun Day and Winter Walk

Join The Friends for their Annual Winter Fun Day and Nature Walk on Sunday, January 23.

Two interior trips lead by experienced guides are scheduled for the morning. The more adventurous will want to participate in the 12km Bufflehead Trail loop. Those wanting a less strenuous trip will want to join in the 8km trip to Big Salmon Lake. All trips start from the Trail Centre, with the 12km trip starting at 9:30a.m. and the 8km trip starting at 11:00a.m.. Although the weather and terrain will for the most part dictate the mode of travel, participants may choose to ski, snowshoe or hike. The Bufflehead Trail will be difficult to ski if there is little snow.

A guided nature walk of the 3km Doe Lake Loop commences from the Trail Centre at 1:30pm. Depending on snow conditions, you may want to hike or snowshoe the trail.

After your winter adventure, return back to The Trail Centre to warm-up by the fire with a cup of The Friends delicious hot chocolate.

Participants are to bring their own lunch, drink and equipment. Dress in layers for the weather. Equipment can be rented from The Peak Experience.

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In Memoriam

Tom Marsh passed away on November 1, 2004 of cancer.

Tom was a very well known member of the Friends of Frontenac Park and held many different positions on the executive over the years including president. He organized and ran the Friends store at the Trail centre for many years. He helped with the planning of the second and third edition of the Friends map and was instrumental in the production of the Doe Lake trail guide. Tom was an avid naturalist and photographer and a keen member of the natural history group. He helped with the development of the Bufflehead trail and assisted in the Friends many nature walks.

Tom was always there to lend a helping hand and will be greatly missed by his many Friends.

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Hot Chocolate at the Trail Centre

steaming cup of chocolateThe Trail Centre is open most days of the winter. Once again, during the weekends of January, February, and March, stop in and warm yourself by the fire with a cup of The Friends' body thawing hot chocolate.

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Hiking in Frontenac Provincial park

By Carolyn and Harry Moerschner

A sunny morning promised to be a good start for our first day of hiking in Frontenac Provincial Park. We were a group of 26 hikers from the Beaver Valley Bruce Trail Club and for many of us this was our first experience of the Canadian Shield wilderness with its granite outcrops, lakes, upland forests and beaver ponds.

At the Trail Centre parking lot we met 2 volunteer guides, Murray Henderson and Elgin Bock, both members of The Friends of Frontenac Park.

Inside the Trail Centre, Park Superintendent Lloyd Chapman welcomed our group. He explained the significance of the park as a "Threshold Wilderness" and also outlined the year-round activities provided by park staff and volunteers.

Our two groups hiked through the beautiful fall landscape, over log bridges and boardwalks covering a network of small streams. We walked past quiet wetlands and swamps, with water lilies and Murray and Elgin took the time to explain some of the significant plant life in the park.

At lunchtime our group settled down at Murray's favourite spot, a wooded cliff overlooking a small pond.

Later on, in the afternoon, we encountered some wildlife, four deer bolting through the forest canopy, spooked by our presence in their territory. Their reddish summer fur had been replaced with a thick gray winter coat. This was one of the highlights of the hike, especially for the end person who was just few metres away from them.

Next day our group hiked on our own. Well-marked trails and easy to follow signage helped us find our way. At one lakeside campsite we found the perfect lunch spot.

Some of us took the opportunity for a post lunch dip in Big Salmon Lake before hiking back to trailhead.

After the hike our car was the last to leave the parking area. A Black Ratsnake, one of Frontenac's most renowned residents, about 4 feet long, was stretched across the roadway, blocking our way. We stopped to admire and take pictures, wondering how we could convince the snake to move and let us pass. In its own sweet time it slithered away, leaving us in awe of its length and pleased to have had the good fortune to view this rare snake.

A special thanks goes to Murray and Elgin for introducing us to hiking through Frontenac's rugged landscape.

We also remember with gratitude Jane Kitchen, who helped Fritzy Nydam, our trip coordinator, to organize this great adventure in Frontenac's wilderness.

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Park Permits

The 2005 Summer and 2005 Annual Park Permits are in. They make excellent birthday gift, and we can process them over the phone!

Call the Park Office now at 376-3489

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The Friends of Frontenac park attend Provincial Friends Workshop

By Paul Vickers

At the end of September, I had the opportunity to attend the Ontario Parks' Circle of Friends Workshop hosted by The Friends of Killarney Park. Nearly 100 representatives of Friends organizations attended the Workshop, which was well organized and presented. In addition to learning new skills to improve our Friends' organizations, the weekend was a great opportunity to network with other Friends and learn of their successes and problems that they've encountered.

The Workshop started with a pre-dinner panel discussion on designing effective websites. Good word of our frontenacpark.ca website must have traveled far as I was asked to be one of three people on the panel. Each of the three panelists had a specific topic to address. I was asked to lead a discussion on what makes a good website (our secret is Jerome McDuff). After a spirited 90 minute discussion with many people sharing their website head-aches (and sometimes nightmares) and successes, we headed to the Killarney Veterans Hall for a Herbet's Fish and Chip dinner.

While the workshops were interesting and provided material to bring back to Frontenac Park, it was the social events where I found the best material to bring back. Each meal was filled with interesting discussions with other representatives of Friends organizations.

Saturday morning kicked-off with the official welcome and an opportunity to discuss our concerns, questions and problems with other Friends organizations and representatives from Ontario Parks. Three concurrent sessions on insurance and liability issues, product selection and development, and fundraising were then presented.

The first part of the afternoon started with three more concurrent sessions on working with Ontario Nature, recruiting members and volunteers, and strategic planning. It wasn’t all work with no play at the Workshop; after the concurrent sessions, we had the opportunity to enjoy either the village of Killarney or Killarney Park in one of six outdoor sessions. Since I had hiked the 100km La Cloche Silhouette trail the week prior to the Workshop (my feet weren't in the mood for any more hiking or walking), I selected a guided canoe trip of beautiful George Lake.

The evening dinner culminated with a key note speech by author and Globe and Mail columnist Roy MacGregor. Mr. MacGregor shared stories of his travels across Canada and concluded with comparing volunteers of Friends organizations to a secret Great Blue Heron heronry he discovered many years ago (it was one of those speeches that you had to be there for).

Sunday morning commenced with a workshop on store design. While Frontenac Park does not have a store, it was interesting to listen to what small things can be done to a store's layout of merchandise to increase sales. With new friends made and new information gained, we then said our farewells and made our way back to our favourite provincial parks.

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Ontario Parks Recognizes Students for Commitment to Parks Protection

Dan Herrick - Ontario Parks Bursary Recipient
By Bert Korporaal

Each year Ontario Parks recognizes 40 students from across the province that are chosen from hundreds of entries. All entries are nominated by their co-workers, supervisors or the public, for outstanding work accomplishments, customer service, professionalism, leadership, volunteerism, and commitment to parks protection, demonstrated through their work. The annual bursary is funded by Ontario Parks' corporate sponsors.

Park Superintendent, Lloyd Chapman, attended an excellent ceremony in Toronto at the Hudson's Bay, to assist and see Dan Herrick receive his bursary award and plaque of recognition. The Bursary Award was presented to Dan by the Ministry of Natural Resources Deputy Minister, Gail Beggs, Assistant Deputy Minister, Kevin Wilson, and Adair Ireland-Smith, the Managing Director of Ontario Parks. Ten of the 40 successful students were on hand to receive their awards and plaques on November 26, 2004.

Dan worked at Frontenac Park for two summers then went to work at Balsam Lake Provincial Park for two summers and returned in 2004 to Frontenac for 3 months of summer work as in Interior Ranger. He has been an outstanding employee, who always went that extra mile to get the job done, with assisting campers and park visitors, helping with enforcement efforts, and assisting with giving direction to other summer staff. He routinely volunteered his time in the interior of both Frontenac and Puzzle Lake Parks for 75 plus hours. His understanding of maintenance, office, enforcement and interior operations as well as his dedication to the parks programs, always putting the protection mandate in the forefront, were some of the reasons why he was nominated. He is indeed a professional in the parks field.

Dan is presently attending Sir Sandford Fleming Natural Resources College in Lindsay in Parks Management and Enforcement courses. He endeavours to make Ontario Parks his chosen career. The bursary will be well spent with his educational commitment.

Congratulations go out to Dan from all of us! And a great big thank you!!

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Poison Ivy Display

Poison ivy displayDuring the second week of April, Bert Korporaal the Assistant Park Superintendent at Frontenac, was at a course in Pinery Provincial Park. While there he noticed a very life-like display at their Visitor Centre. This display was so impressive that he thought there very well could be a place for such a display at our own park. After meeting and speaking with their park staff, he found out some interesting particulars about their display.

It is a sculpture made entirely out of painted brass, made by a former Director of the Friends of Pinery Provincial Park, Mr. Ward from Stratford, Ontario. He is a retired gentleman, who loves to hand carve wooden bird decoys. When carving decoys, all natural surroundings of the decoy display must also be hand made, which includes all plants, leaves, insects, etc. It is a true reflection of the artist’s love of nature, when one sculpt plants and leaves out of materials such as brass sheeting and brass tubing and form and paint it to resemble a plant such as the poison ivy display we now have in the Frontenac Trail Centre!

Upon Bert's return to Frontenac, he approached the Park Superintendent and the Friends of Frontenac with the idea of purchasing a display for the Trail Centre. It was decided it would indeed complement the other interpretive displays and also would greatly help park users more easily identify this plant out in the field. And hopefully help park patrons avoid contact with it. The Friends of Frontenac decided they would assume the costs for producing this sculpture and also pay for the cost of fabricating the display case. The Poison Ivy display now sits upon a white pine stump in the Trail Centre for all to admire and heed thanks to the co-operation & efforts of the Park Staff and The Friends.

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Renew your membership

Do not forget to renew your membership with The Friends of Frontenac Park! Current members will find enclosed with this newsletter their 2005/2006 membership renewal form. Your financial support of The Friends helps us to continue our programs and numerous projects that help to protect and enhance the natural qualities of Frontenac Park.

Members in good standing of The Friends can enjoy a discount of 10% off regular price merchandise (except canoes, kayaks and MEC price-matched items) at The Peak Experience. The Peak Experience is Kingston's only locally owned outdoor store and is located at 166 Wellington at Brock and 795 Gardiners Road at Taylor Kidd. Present your Friends membership card with photo identification at your next visit to The Peak Experience.

Your membership with The Friends also entitles you to a 15% discount at Novel Idea, a Kingston owned bookstore, located at 156 Princess Street.

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