THE OFFICIAL NEWSLETTER OF THE FRIENDS OF FRONTENAC PARK
Winter 2006 Number 47


$10,000 grant received from TD Friends of the Environment Foundation

By Paul Vickers

This past fall was a busy and productive season for the Doe Lake and Arab Lake Gorge Trail Revitalization Project. Using funds donated by the Greater Kingston Community Foundation, we hosted two volunteer work days. Teams of volunteers descended on the trails to install five sections of new boardwalk, lay cedar chips, install an informative sign, and carry out several other maintenance tasks.

TD Friends of the Environment Foundation logoThe generous donation of $4000 from GKCF provided us with the seed funds to demonstrate to other granting agencies the potential of this project. Our partnership with Ontario Parks, our dedicated volunteers, our desire to maintain the ecological integrity of popular trails while adding visitor friendly features, and our demonstrated success with a small amount of funds caught the attention of the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation. With a similar vision and environmental concerns of The Friends of Frontenac Park, they have committed $10,000 towards this project.

These funds, in addition to $10,000 of in-kind donation from Ontario Parks and approximately $10,000 from The Friends of Frontenac Park will be used to finish the project in 2007. While final work plans are being formed over the winter, we anticipate installing a trailhead sign (including self-serve trail guide dispenser), installing three new benches on Doe Lake Trail and one on Arab Lake Gorge Trail, installing or replacing several sections of boardwalk, repairing erosion damage on slopes, laying cedar chips, replacing the steps leading down to the trails, fixing damaged trail guide number posts on Arab Lake Gorge Trail, and installing distance markers on Doe Lake Trail. We are also deliberating what to do with the deteriorating Lee Trapper Shanty on Doe Lake Trail.

All hands on deck during work on a Doe Lake Trail boardwalkThe easy part of this project has now been completed, raising the funds. Now the work needs to get done. Some of the funds will be used to employee two summer students to work on this project. Working with Ontario Parks, they will assist with preparing for the Volunteer Work Days and carry out some of the work (such as laying cedar chips). We anticipate two or three Volunteer Work Days to get most of the work done. I hope you will join us for one (or more) Volunteer Work Days. Dates will be posted on our website and included in the Spring Newsletter.

Doe Lake Trail and Arab Lake Gorge Trail are the most popular trails of Frontenac Park, a Provincial Park known for its near-wilderness environment. These trails are enjoyed by families, novice hikers, and first time visitors due to their short distances, relatively easy terrain, abundant plant, animal and aquatic life, and exposure to the human history of the Park. Unfortunately, the popularity of these trails has taken a toll on their paths and bridges.

The Friends of Frontenac Park would like to preserve the ecological integrity of the Doe Lake Trail and Arab Lake Gorge Trail, while adding user-friendly enhancements such as bridges and benches. Such enhancements will enable more children, adults, and seniors, of varying levels of walking ability, to enjoy these two trails. By revitalizing the paths and structures of these two flagship trails, The Friends hope to encourage visitors to return and enjoy more of the Park’s trails and see its many historical and natural features.

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President's Message

The Friends of Frontenac Park are embarking what is sure to be a productive year. The year got started with good momentum at our Annual General Meeting in November. For the past couple years, we’ve struggled with presenting a full slate of nominees for our Board of Directors, but this year, we had the opposite. Your 2006/07 Board has a full complement of 10 Directors, plus 2 more non-voting observer Directors. While our programs and projects require the human and financial support of our members, these activities require the Board of Directors to oversee them. Having a full Board, and more, will help to ensure the workload is shared more evenly, prevent volunteer burn-out, bring new ideas to Frontenac Park, and do even more to make Frontenac Park a special place to visit.

The Doe Lake and Arab Lake Gorge Trail Revitalization Project will be a major project of The Friends in 2007. With thanks to a $10,000 grant from TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, this project will see significant activity this summer. Combined with $4,000 from the Greater Kingston Community Foundation, $10,000 in-kind donation from Ontario Parks, and approximately $10,000 from The Friends of Frontenac Park, these trails will be enjoyable for all to walk. In the end, Frontenac Park comes out the winner as a major component of this project is to help ensure the ecological integrity of these trails is maintained.

The new Board has been put to work without delay. A $2,500 grant from the Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation under the Eastern Ontario Development Program for the redesign and printing of our information pamphlet will keep some of the Board busy. This grant has allowed us to engage a professional graphic designer to revamp our tired 13 year old information pamphlet. Look for our new pamphlet by mid-winter. The new pamphlet will certainly complement our Welcome kiosk that was installed this spring outside of the Trail Centre.

We have a run of good fortune with donations to The Friends. We were recently informed that The Friends of Frontenac Park are the recipients of a donated Langford canoe for raffling this year. A dedicated group of volunteers have formed a Canoe Committee and will be eagerly selling tickets and looking for more volunteers to help with selling throughout the year. Tickets will be on sale by late winter.

I hope you will join us for an informative and entertaining evening with Kevin Callan. Kevin is the author of a popular series of canoe books (including one that features Frontenac Park). In addition to paddling the lakes and rivers of Ontario, Kevin is an avid camper, hiker, and environmentalist. Kevin will share stories, slides and film of his recent adventures (and misadventures) of his numerous trips. The fun starts at 7pm, April 12th at Duncan McArthur Hall on Queen’s West Campus.

And this is just the beginning of what will certainly be a productive year for The Friends.

***

Who is that man behind the desk? That would be Ben Chabot, the Acting Superintendent of Frontenac Park. For some of the regular visitors to Frontenac Park, you may have meet him several years ago when he was a summer student at the Park. Ben comes to us from Charleston Lake Provincial Park, where he was the Assistant Superintendent. We will know over the next month or two if Ben gets to drop the “Acting” part of his title, or if someone else will be behind the desk.

It is amazing how paths cross with people. Last year, I was camping at Charleston Lake at one of their interior campsites. For three days, I had an entire cluster of campsites to myself. Beautifully quiet, that was, until noon of the fourth day when an endless stream of canoes paddled by high school students started descended on ‘my’ beach. Ten minutes later, Ben had turned-up. Not to keep an eye on the students, but with an offer to help me move my equipment to a secluded campsite further down the lake.

***

I would like to welcome Jim King, Cathy Murray, Anne Hogle, and John Critchley to the Board of Directors. Many thanks to Michael Doyle who retired from the Board this year.

***

After much deliberation, the Board of Directors decided to raise the cost of an annual membership by $5 ($20 for individual and $25 for family). It is believed that this is the first increase in the membership fees since the Friends were formed over 15 years ago. As with all organizations, businesses and families, our costs have increased (including over $2000 a year for insurance, which we didn’t have 15 years ago). This increase covers our administrative costs and provides funds towards our programs.

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 The * 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 (613 376 3489) for more information.

* Monday, January 8: Friends Board Meeting Location LCVI, Rm. 120 at 19:00

* Saturday, January 20: 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.

* February 3-4: Winter Camping Weekend #1 (or Weekend #2 on February 10-11): Choose one of these two weekends to acquire and practice winter camping skills. Food will be provided. Prerequisite - “Winter Camping - Planning” given on January 20. Cost: $60.00 ea. plus interior camping fee; Time: 10:00 Saturday to 15:30 Sunday. To register contact the Trail Centre at 376-3489.

* February 10-11: Winter Camping Weekend #2 See Above.

* Monday, February 12: Friends Board Meeting Location LCVI, Rm. 120 at 19:00.

* Saturday, February 17: Winter Fun Day : Snowshoe Workshop. This is a snowshoe day for people of all ages and all levels. Mr. Ed Grenda will conduct a workshop that will discuss various topics. A snowshoeing trip will then be held in the Park. Volunteers will serve hot chocolate in front of the fireplace in the Trail Centre. Please dress in layers for the weather, bring your snowshoe equipment, including a small backpack with water, a hot drink, and lunch. Please meet at the Trail Centre. Time: 10:30 to 15:00

* Monday, February 26: 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.

* Monday, March 5: Friends Board Meeting Location LCVI, Rm. 120 at 19:00

* Saturday, March 31: Your Friends Membership Ends We need your support so please renew your membership for another year.

* Saturday, March 31: 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 15:00; Contact the Park (376 3489) for details.

* Thursday, April 12: An evening with Kevin Callan. See separate article in this issue for more content information. To attend this presentation sponsored by the Friends, meet at Duncan McArthur Hall, Queens University (corner of Union and Sir John A. MacDonald) at 19:00 sharp. The presentation should conclude by 21:00 No fee but voluntary donations will be accepted

* Saturday, April 14: Historical Walk Join the Friends on this walk down memory lane and learn a bit about the human history of Frontenac Park. A short walk (approx. 7km) down Big Salmon Lake Road past some of the old family homesteads of the area’s early settlers. Meet at the Trail Centre at 10:30am and return at approx. 16:00. Bring water,a lunch, good walking shoes and lots of questions. Please register with the Park at 376-3489 and plan to go, rain or shine.

* Monday, April 16: Friends Board Meeting Location LCVI, Rm. 120 at 19:00

* Saturday, April 21: 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.

* Monday, May 14: Friends Board Meeting Location LCVI, Rm. 120 at 19:00

* Saturday, May 26: Wilderness Navigation using Map and Compass Come and learn how to interpret and read topographical maps and then find your way in the wilderness using a variety of techniques and equipment. Cost $20.00 per person (plus GST and Park fee). Time: 09:00 to 16:00. Meet at the Trail Centre.

* Saturday, June 9: President’s Paddle Join the Friends for a canoe trip on Big Salmon Lake. The flotilla will depart at 10:00 from the canoe launch on Big Salmon Lake, headed for campsite #4. Anticipated return is 16:00. See the note on President’s Paddle in this publication for more details.

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On Frontenac Challenge 2006

The 14th annual Frontenac Challenge will go down in history as a record breaking event. We had 220 people who signed up to take the challenge, 156 who finished and 75 who joined us for the celebratory BBQ. These results are amazing since the Fall weather did not exactly favour outdoor activity. This makes the success of those who finished quite an accomplishment. Congratulations to all who braved the “less than kind “weather and especially to those who joined the "5 year club" and the prestigious "10 year club".

The stories shared, the memories created will, we hope, entice you to join us for our 15th anniversary of the Challenge in 2007!

Congratulations go to the following hikers who completed The Challenge and special congratulations to our two youngest hikers of 2006 Connor Vreeken (age 6) and Mitchell McCrady (age 7).

First time

Sara Beck, Mike Brissard, Pat Casey, Clinton Chau, Bob Clooney, Eve D’Aeth, Sharleen Denney, Janice Farrar, Nicole Fenton, Kathryn Fournier, Allan Giffin, Colleen Groeneveld, Gary Groeneveld, Jason Hebert, Maureen Hobbis, Helen Humphreys, Brian Hunter, Robyn Kristiansen, Ron Kristiansen, Tammy Lau, John Leblanc, Stuart Leddy, M. Ginger Lefebvre, Frank Legros, Susan Long-Poucher, Jim Lorimer, Mark McCrady, Mitchell McCrady, Brooke McKnight, Deb Millan, Eric Millan, Mark Millan, Greg Mills, Cathy Murray, Daintry Norman, Joey O’Donnell, Lucy Onysko, Dale Pilote, Jonathan Rioux, Bradley Roberts, Joanne Rutley, Barry Sligh, Brian Sligh, Karen Sligh, Patrick Smith, Heather Stables, Unaliyi Outdoor Therapeutic Program (12 persons), Lisa Van Raes, Connor Vreeken, Marie Warner, Debbie Wemp, Jim Wemp, Mike White, David Young,

Twice

Peter Blood, Chris Evans, Janet Fenton, Shawn Hutchings, Doris Ilrig, Gunhild Karius, Bernard Kerr, Jim King, Na Lin, Rich Ludlow, Sue Maki, Mary Jean McIntyre, Derrick Mikkola, Bob Short, Toni Towle, Siepi Van Der Werf, Brian Van Raes, Erik Vreeken, Nancy Wood,

Three times

Andrew Babcock, Pat Baker, Sandra Crocker, Malcolm Cunningham, Kathy De Benedetti, Bill Hiemstra, Rob Irving, Dagmar Jones, Rhéal Legault, Patti McCauley, Michael Newstead, Marion Polk

Four times

Joan Bailey, Morris Buckner, Anna Chadwick, Jordan Goudreau, Yvonne Hawkins, Rose Millett, Debbie Frost, Kim Onysko, Regina Prokopczuk, Linda Turnbull, Donna Vinkle, Margaret Wild

Five times

Gayle Bender, John Blackwell, John Critchley, Gayle Desarmia, Cam Hodges, Sandra Muis, Virginia Steele, Christina Wilcox

Six times

Les C. Cseh, Jane Hough, Robert Hough, Fred Luciani, Ted Phillips, Gloria Seeley, Tristan Willis

Seven times

Grant Asselstine, Gary Birrell, Lorraine Flooks, Kathy Francis, Paul Markle, Tom Mawhinney, Irene O’Brien, Jack Roscoe, Cheryl Stevenson, Sandy Williams

Eight times

David Armitage, Rick Blasko, Sally Blasko, Donald Bond, Bill Murdoch, Beth Orr, Barbara Pusch, Val Ruttan

Nine times

Faye Dennis, John Golemiec, Sharon McIlroy, Judy Ferren

Ten times

Peter Burbidge, Joe Pollock

Eleven times

Mike Carmody, Joyce Duncan, Rudy Duncan, Erhard Frenzl, Dora Hunter, Hugh Pratt

Thirteen Times

Murray Henderson, Donald King

Fourteen times

Audrey Sanger

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Grant received to redesign information pamphlet

By Paul Vickers

Through the Eastern Ontario Development Program administered in this area by the Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation, we have received a grant of $2,500 to fund the redesign and printing of a new information pamphlet.

Our current information pamphlet is at least 13 years old and is showing its age. Over the past few years, volunteers have made various attempts at redesigning the pamphlet to be relevant for our current need and audience, but we never ended up with an eye-catching product that would encourage people to pick-up the pamphlet, read it, and hopefully become a member.

The Frontenac CFDC supported this initiative because of the economic impact Frontenac Park has on the surrounding area. The recent “Background and Information” document on Frontenac Park pegged the economic benefit at over $1 million a year. They understood and appreciated that a strong and vibrant Friends organization encourages visitation to the Park, which in turn supports the local economy. Having an up-to-date and visually pleasing information pamphlet will encourage visitors to become members of The Friends of Frontenac Park or make a financial donation (and in turn make us a strong and vibrant Friends organization that encourages visitation to the Park).

With this grant, we have engaged a professional graphic designer to develop the new pamphlet. The grant will also provide funds for a first printing of the pamphlet.

Look for our new pamphlet by the end of February.

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An evening with Kevin Callan

The Friends of Frontenac Park are proud to sponsor and invite Kevin Callan to Kingston for an informative and entertaining evening of stories, (mis) adventures, and stunning photos of our provincial parks.

Kevin Callan is the author of nine books, including his bestselling Paddler’s Guide series (Frontenac Park is featured in his “Paddler’s Guide to Ontario” book. A regular contributor to outdoor magazines, he is the recipient of three National Magazine Awards and is a featured speaker at many of North America’s largest paddling events. The first in his series of short films, titled River Rat, won first prize at the prestigious Waterwalker Film Festival; the second and third in the series were on tour across North America. He lives in Peterborough, Ontario, the birthplace of the famous Peterborough canoe and home of the Canadian Canoe Museum. While a canoeing is the focus of several books, Kevin is also an avid hiker and environmentalist.

We hope you will join us for what is sure to be a fantastic evening with Kevin. The presentation is on Thursday, April 12th, from 7pm to 9pm at Duncan McArthur Hall (Queen’s University West Campus – corner of Union and Sir John A. Macdonald). No charge, but voluntary donations accepted.

Note: With presenting Kevin this spring, we will not be hosting our annual Winter Lecture this year.

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President’s Report at Annual General Meeting

November 12, 2006

We have had an amazing year, especially considering from where we started. It was this time last year that a partial Board of Directors was appointed. With only a Board of seven people, we pulled up our socks and got to it. These seven people, were determined not to see the demise of The Friends, and nor were they willing to reduce our program and projects.

We didn’t waste time getting to work. As what is now becoming tradition, we held our annual December planning meeting to determine what programs and projects we would undertake in the next 12 months.

The Board made the Doe Lake Trail and Arab Lake Gorge Trail Revitalization Project the priority project of the year. With momentum from the prior year, the Board was determined to make a positive impact on these popular trails. I encourage you this afternoon to walk around Doe Lake Trail to see the work that this Board is visioning, volunteers performed, and Park administration coordinated. Over 100 feet of new boardwalk is now in place. Over 300 metres of cedar chips were laid on Arab Lake Gorge Trail. And this, is just the beginning. Wait until next year when more boardwalk is installed and replaced, benches are installed, erosion problems are fixed, and a new trailhead sign is erected outside the Trail Centre.

The new Friends Welcome SignAfter a couple years on the drawing board, our Welcome and Information Kiosk became a reality. Students at Sydenham High School constructed the beautiful frame. The number of newsletters and pamphlets that we’re going through certainly indicates that this kiosk is certainly doing what it was intended to do – increase our profile.

Talking about our pamphlet, that is our 13 year old pamphlet, we received $2,500 of funding from the Frontenac Community Futures Development Corporation through their Eastern Ontario Development Program to redesign our pamphlet. This money allows us to engage a professional graphic designer to develop an eye catching and useful pamphlet, and to do a first printing of about 3,000 copies. Watch for the new pamphlet this winter.

This spring saw the printing of the 4th edition interior map. After a year of drafts and tinkering, we finally gave birth to a healthy 8000 copies of the map. We also experimented with waterproof maps with this edition. Much to our surprise, we’re selling more of the waterproof maps than we expected. I would particularly like to thank Bert Korporaal for his work on the map. Bert spent endless hours pouring over the map to make sure we made this the best possible edition. And after hours of review, there were a few times that he would be on the highway in the early hours of the morning to meet with the cartographer or printer.

This over-worked Board didn’t stop with high profile projects. Our regular schedule of programs went on, such as our popular winter camping program, Frontenac Challenge and trail sweeps. Then there is the behind the scene work that few see, such as the work of the Secretary, Treasurer, Newsletter and the hundreds of hours it takes to pull-off a successful event, such as the Frontenac Challenge.

While I have focused on the Board, our vision, our projects, and our programs, could not have been carried out without the tireless work of our loyal and dedicated volunteers. Over 30 people joined us for our most recent trail sweep. We easily had 16 people out for the first Revitalization Project Work Day and a quick second work day had 8 people on the trail making Frontenac Park a special place to visit. There are also the volunteers who focus on one specific administrative task for us, such as selling our map. Having said that, we are struggling with the Trail Centre hosting program. Over the past two years, it has become increasingly difficult to find people willing to host at the Trail Centre.

While the Board and volunteers are two key ingredients to make our projects and programs a possibility, we could not achieve our goals without the support of the staff of Frontenac Park and Ontario Parks. We have had tremendous support and enthusiasm from the staff for our projects and programs.

After a year that started with a bit of frustration, we’ve ended the year on a high note. A new map, more new members, a good start on the Revitalization Project, funding to redo our pamphlet, increased profile, 150 people completing the Challenge, $10,000 for the Revitalization Project, and people so eager to be on the Board that we had more interest than positions on the Board.

Between the Board, our volunteers, and the staff of Frontenac Park, we have certainly Returned Many Favours to Frontenac Park this year.

Thank you.

Paul Vickers

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Volunteers Return a Favour to Nature

Working on the Doe Lake Trail boardwalkThe volunteers at Frontenac Park have had a very busy year “returning a favour to nature”. They continue to support the Park Staff by dedicating many hours to the ongoing tasks of trail maintenance, bridge building, running special events and hosting at the trail centre not to mention being “goodwill ambassadors” on the trail and at the campsites.

Thank you to all who have given of their time… and if we have inadvertently overlooked anyone please accept our apologies.

With the ongoing “Doe Lake and Arab Gorge Trails Revitalization” project as well as many other initiatives we will be looking for volunteers willing and able to give us a hand. For more information about being a volunteer please contact the Park Office at (613) 376-3489.

Doe Lake Trail boardwalk near completionRon Abbott, Bernie Adell, David Armitage, Pat Baker, Bill Birdsall, Rick Blasko, Sally Blasko, Elgin Bock, Morris Buckner, Peter Burbidge, Virginia Card, Bob Clooney, John Critchley, Kathy DeBenedetti, Eri Deeks, Faye Dennis, Jan Dennis, Robert Dennis, Stephen Dennis, Ivan DeRome, Gayle Desmaria, John Dorland, Michael Doyle, Joyce Duncan, Rudy Duncan, Janet Fenton, Nicole Fenton, Erhard Frenzl, Neil Gardner, Bill Grant, Harvey Guy, Audrey Helmstaedt, Herb Helmstaedt, Murray Henderson, Anne Hogle, Janet Hough, Robert Hough, Brian Hunter, Dora Hunter, Dora Huut, Rose Jones, Bev Kelly, Jim Kelly, Don King, Jane Kitchen, Joan MacLeod, Allain McCann, Dave McCarthy, Jerome McDuff, Joan McDuff, Sonya Meek, Alida Moffatt, Clark Moffatt, Cathy Murray, Geri Murphy, Nathan Nesdoly, Mike Newstead, Donna North, Irene O'Brian, Janet Olson, John Olson, Martin Oomen, Colin Phillips, Jacob Phillips, Ted Phillips, Kevin Pitcher, Hugh Pratt, Val Ruttan, Audrey Sanger, Gloria Seeley, Joan Simpson, Maureen Sly, Simon Smith, Don Stables, Heather Stables, Paul Vickers, Luke Weese, Zach Weese, Tristen Willis.

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Danger - Thin Ice!

Many of the rivers and lakes of Frontenac Park are now frozen, but they are not safe for traveling on. Ice conditions can vary on a daily basis and be influenced by temperature extremes, changing water levels and snow loads.

The Friends of Frontenac Park and Ontario Parks do not encourage traveling on ice, no matter what the ice conditions are like. Additional information on traveling on ice, including the Ministry of Natural Resource’s Working on Ice Policy, can be obtained from the Trail Centre.

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Did You know

Thank you for supporting your Friends of Frontenac Park.

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Cross-country Ski Signs

Big Salmon Lake Road and the Corridor Trail are signed for cross-country skiing. The bright yellow direction, warning and difficulty level signs were purchased and constructed recently by The Friends of Frontenac Park.

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Are you looking for The Peak Experience?

The Peak Experience, a locally owned outdoor store has moved its downtown store a few buildings south on Brock Street. Members are eligible for discounts at both Peak Experience locations.

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Discounts

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 62 Brock Street and 795 Gardiners Road at Taylor Kidd. Present your Friends membsership 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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