Charter Member Profile

phfPioneer Handcraft Furniture has been a Biosphere Charter Member since 2012. Looking for unique pieces of furniture to make your cottage comfortable and unique? Established in 1938, Pioneer Handcraft Furniture is the ideal place to find handmade furniture and designs to fit your lifestyle. One showroom is located on Highway 400 just north of Waubaushene, the main showroom and workshop is located on Highway 11 at Severn Bridge nestled in white pines and granite.

The Community Stewardship Program – Funding is Available

Grant opportunities are now available to residents in the eastern Georgian Bay region for stewardship projects that improve or preserve water quality and environmental health. The grants are available through the Lake Simcoe Eastern Georgian Bay Community Stewardship Program which is delivered by the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve.

The Community Stewardship Program provides a holistic approach toward achieving water quality and environmental improvements in Georgian Bay and Lake Simcoe. Education, support and grant opportunities are available for residents, cottagers, shoreline owners, businesses, municipalities, community groups and others living within the program area. The eligible program area is the Georgian Bay region west of the Highway 400/Highway 69 corridor to the Georgian Bay shoreline, including islands, extending north to the French River.

The types of projects eligible for funding include: shoreline erosion control and restoration; replacing failed septic systems; wetland restoration and improvement; stream and fisheries improvements; planting native species and re-naturalization; and other projects which consider water quality protection

To apply for funding, landowners must first register and attend a free Stewardship Workshop. These three hour workshops provide a program overview, project ideas, and types of funding available, as well as other resources. Participating landowners then develop an action plan using the free Stewardship Guide, host a site visit, and submit an application form, permits, and financial documents. The site visit is completed by the program Extension Specialists, and only serves to verify project need and eligibility. Technical support is available at no cost throughout the entire process. Applicants will be advised of eligible funding levels prior to project commencement and grants will be issued after receipt of all eligible paid invoices upon project completion.

Upcoming Stewardship Workshops will be held:

  • Aug. 12th, 6-9pm Senior Citizen Centre, Britt
  • Aug. 18th, 6-8pm, Wasauksing Community Centre, 1508 Geewadin Rd. Lane G, Parry Sound
  • Sept. 19th, 9:30-11:30, Museum on Tower Hill, 17 George St., Parry Sound

Early Stewardship Workshop registration is advised as space in the program is limited and applications will be processed in the order they are submitted. To register for a Stewardship Workshop or for more information on the program visit You may also contact Extension Specialist, Delaina Arnold at or (705) 774.0978 for direct inquires or if you are interested in hosting a Stewardship Workshop in your area.

The Community Stewardship Program is made possible through the Environment Canada Lake Simcoe South Eastern Georgian Bay Clean Up Fund. The GBBR is grateful to all partners including the Dufferin Simcoe Land Stewardship Network.

Charter Member Profile: Seguin Valley

Featuring one of the most topographically diverse and spectacular settings for golf in Canada, Seguin Valley is situated among the regions signature mixed forest, crosses lakes, streams and lush wetlands, and skirts granite cliffs and rock outcroppings. 7th hole overhead
In this environment you may hear the distinct notes of songbirds, the gobble of wild turkeys or the screech of eagles overhead. You might witness the silent swoop of Great Blue Herons, the quiet patter of foxes and wolves, or the majesty of moose, black bears and deer.
Seguin’s layout covers nearly 400 acres of an 890-acre slice of Central Ontario wilderness just south of Parry Sound. Each of the 18 holes provides a unique, purposely secluded setting, with no parallel fairways, ensuring golfers a private, pristine domain on every hole.Through it all, there are some of Ontario’s most jaw-dropping and spell-bounding holes. It could be the stirring but intimidating carry across McRae Lake to a tree-framed green at the par-3 7th. Or it might be the arresting downward view over a serpentine creek and marshland at the drivable par-4 15th. Or perhaps it will be the daunting par-5 5th—600 yards from the tips—to a well bunkered green that arcs into the water.Dramatic, challenging, eminently memorable, Seguin Valley is a marriage of nature and golf.

Popular Filmmaker and Recording Artist Plans Parry Sound Concert

On Sunday, June 7th, Parry Sound will host to a uniquely Canadian journey/music tour/film this summer featuring well known Canadian musical talent, Peirson Ross along with award winning filmmaker Frank Wolf. The duo will be embarking on a 950 km canoe trip through Ontario/Quebec combined with a concert tour in support of Pierson’s new Album ‘Wild Ones’.  Wild Ones celebrates Canadian Wilderness, with each song representing a different animal and province in Canada.  The tour will be highlighted by a concert in Ottawa on Canada Day. The entire journey will be filmed and turned into a documentary to be released later next year.

“We’d like to not only have a great tour but want to promote the preservation of Canadian Wilderness as well- something both Peirson and I are passionate about.  For example, our concerts at Wilderness Tours and Esprit Rafting will raise money for the Ottawa Riverkeepers environmental group while this one in Parry Sound will support the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve.  I’ll be the filmmaker/roadie/tour manager/MC while Peirson will be the performer/tripping grunt.” explained Wolf.

Tickets for the concert at $15 each and only a limited number will be sold since the venue is intimate. All tickets will be sold in advance and can be purchased at the Museum on Tower Hill or at White Squall in downtown Parry Sound or by contacting the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve. This is a unique opportunity to meet both an internationally acclaimed filmmaker and musician at the same venue so the event is expected to sell out quickly.

Peirson Ross is no run of the mill artist and has been described as a cross between Dave Mathews, Jeff Buckley and Nick Drake and he has won acclaim from across Canada and the United States. Reviews of his music and samples of his most recent album can be found at

Both Pierson Ross and Frank Wolf were excited to kick off the tour in Parry Sound since our unique and world renowned Biosphere Reserve is the epitome of the vibe that both the musician an filmmaker attempt to feature in their respective work.

More information on the concert can be found at the GBBR or by emailing

Honeybees, Plants, & Food Workshop Huge Success!

Organizers who hosted approximately 120 people taking part in one of two Honeybees, Plants and Food sessions at Canadore College last weekend hope everyone left knowing  they can help all pollinators.  unnamed

“Wild bees are pollinators too,” said local beekeeper John Warner. “They pollinate 70 to 80 per cent of commercial agriculture. Honeybees are just the canary in the coal mine; the chemicals we use are killing insects, affecting bird populations …”

The workshops, funded through a $2,500 TD Friends of the Environment Foundation grant matched by local Crofter’s Organic jam manufacturer, focused on raising bees, planting bee-friendly flowers and eating food that supports local and pesticide-free agriculture.

Read the full article here:

Biosphere Charter Member Profile: Kropf Industrial

Located in Seguin, ON, Kropf Industrial has been serving the marine industry around the Great Lakes and beyond since the early 1980s. Kropf is a family-owned and operated company, and the majority employees and shareholders are avid boaters, kayakers, and anglers. They are focused on innovation and quality, to ensure that the best product is brought to market that will satisfy all  stakeholders, including the broader community in the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve.

Kropf manufactures the Conolift line of hydraulic boat handling equipment, including boat trailers and mobile lifts up to 100 ton capacity. Kropf also supplies built to order steel tube floating docks, which are designed to be left in place year around while minimizing any impact on the shoreline environment. These docks feature an all-steel sub-frame, which means there is no foam or plastic that breaks down and drifts away from the dock. The docks are all floating, with a minimal anchor footprint on the lake bottom. No wood materials, treated or otherwise, are in contact with the water once the dock is installed. The steel frame of the dock is not foam filled, so it is easily recyclable without any material having to be landfilled.

Healthy living, food skills taught through Community Kitchen Program

A plethora of smells wafted out of the kitchen at the Salvation Army on Monday afternoon.


The Mix, Measure, and Mingle community kitchen group made easy vegetable coleslaw, sweet potato fries, vegetarian burgers, and apple crisp for their weekly Monday afternoon meal.

Earlier this year, the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve was graced with a $57,500 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to expand community kitchen opportunities at the Salvation Army and the Parry Sound Friendship Centre.

Read more…

Biosphere Charter Member Profile: White Squall Paddling Centre

White Squall Paddling Centre has operated since 1985 and has been a Biosphere Charter Member since 2012. With the simple desire to share the outdoors and paddling with others, White Squall provides paddlers and outdoor enthusiasts of all ages the opportunity to experience firsthand the fun and beauty of Georgian Bay.  The name came from the late Stan Roger’s song “White Squall”, a haunting ballad that captures the mystery and power of Georgian Bay.  Grace- Billboard

The coastal islands and shores of northeastern Georgian Bay have been recognized by the United Nations as a unique littoral ecosystem of international importance. Sea kayakers recognize the thirty thousand islands as some of the best paddling in the world. We’re pretty lucky to have this as our backyard – and look forward to sharing it with you” says Tim Dyer, owner of White Squall Paddling Centre.

In conjunction with the GBBR and other community partners, White Squall is active in cleaning up campsites and installing thunderboxes on Franklin Island and surrounding crown lands. Click here for more information on the outer islands project. White Squall is also partnering with the GBBR to present the 2015 Reel Paddling Film Festival. All proceeds from this event will go to Global Medic, click here for more information.

Building Communities Through Cooking

The Ontario Trillium Foundation has granted $57,500 to the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve to expand community kitchen opportunities available at the Parry Sound Friendship Centre and the Salvation Army.

Community kitchens help provide access to healthy food in two meaningful ways: through meals and through food skills education.

“Community kitchens bring people together to gain hands-on cooking skills, learn about meal planning, nutrition, and food safety,” said Glenda Clayton, project coordinator. “This grant will help bring six to ten people together to cook on either a weekly or monthly basis and take home both food and knowledge to share with their families.”

This two-year collaborative project is also supported by North Bay Parry Sound Health Unit and District of Parry Sound Social Services Administration Board. It builds on a successful community kitchen pilot program initiated by Salvation Army last year.

“We are delighted to be able to offer more community kitchen programs for our clients and community,” said Heather Murch, senior program services worker.  “These programs are a wonderful opportunity for people to get out and share a meal, to improve their cooking skills, to have greater access to nutritious food and ultimately improve their food security and health.”

The Wasa Nabin program at Parry Sound Friendship Centre will focus on teaching youth healthy cooking and gardening skills. Elders will meet monthly at a luncheon called “Congregate Cooking and Dining” to enjoy cooking, sharing recipes and eating together.

“We believe that our elders and youth and our community as a whole will greatly benefit from this project,” says Gail Hall, Friendship Centre executive director.  “It helps meet real needs in our community and builds our capacity to offer future food-related programs.”

Local chefs who have a strong interest in community development will also be engaged to help groups develop specific cooking skills. Health professionals, such as dieticians, will be invited to share their knowledge.

Up-coming cooking classes include:

Salvation Army

• Monday, March 2, for young people who could use a little help learning their way around the kitchen (10-1 p.m).

Parry Sound Friendship Centre

• Thursday, March 5, for elders who are interested in cooking and dining together (10-1 p.m).

• Wednesday, March 11, for youth (12-18) who would like to gain culinary skills, sample new foods and share their cooking with family.

Biosphere Charter Member Profile: Bayside Inn

Bayside-Inn-1024x768The Bayside Inn sits on Gibson Street near the Parry Sound Harbour front and has been a Biosphere Charter Member since 2012. The Bayside Inn was originally constructed as a tourist home when Parry Sound was still young, in 1898, but is now a historic hotel.

Inn keeper Jeff Quathamer says “Demonstrating our commitment to Biosphere values was an easy and natural fit for this business. Our guests are completely receptive to the idea of a Biosphere Reserve and get a lot from seeing not only the beauty of the region, but the way people cherish and protect it.”

One significant and practical way in which Bayside Inn demonstrates its commitment to Biosphere values is in the installation of an Electric Vehicle (EV) charging station. This EV charging station not only provides a cleaner source of fuel for vehicles but also supports local energy production. If money is received from the EV users, the proceeds are then donated to the GBBR.