Biosphere Member Profile: Museum on Tower Hill

By: Amy Sultana
A Biosphere Member since 2012, the Museum on Tower Hill has been a proud supporter of the GBBR’s mission for many years. The Museum strives to preserve and interpret core cultural themes which shaped the Parry Sound District’s history, while promoting learning and engagement through meaningful exhibitions and education programs that explore topics relevant to today’s communities.
In 2012, the Museum’s Board of Directors passed a motion to become a more environmentally friendly organization. In 2014, through the help of the community, the Museum installed a new geothermal HVAC system. This system has worked to reduce our energy consumption and has acted as a first defense against the deterioration of the valuable artifacts housed within our collection, protecting them for future generations.
Over the past year, the Museum has teamed up with the GBBR to provide educational programming in coordination with our rotating exhibitions. Together, we have assisted in educating both youth and adults on ways in which they can help protect our fragile ecosystem and the species within the Parry Sound area.

Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve announces strategic partnership with Eastern Georgian Bay Stewardship Council

The Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve (GBBR) and the Eastern Georgian Bay Stewardship Council (EGBSC) are working together to foster stronger stewardship work for eastern Georgian Bay and inland lakes. This strategic alignment will be initiated with members from both boards sitting on a new Stewardship Committee.

Terry Crawford, Chair of EGBSC said that: “under the excellent guidance of Julia Sutton we were able to continue a lot of good work for this area.  After her departure to follow a life dream, our volunteer board started considering alternatives to the day-to-day struggle of keeping a not-for-profit afloat and doing that good work. We’re quite happy with this new arrangement because the quality organizational structure and staff provided by GBBR allows us as volunteers to do what we want most: focus on conservation and stewardship.”

In 2000, the Ministry of Natural Resources established the Eastern Georgian Bay/North Channel Fisheries Advisory Council to assist with formulating updated fishing regulations on those respective waterbodies. In 2006, the Advisory Council was split into two components, the North Channel and Eastern Georgian Bay, each of which was then incorporated into the MNR’s Ontario Stewardship Network.  The Ontario Stewardship Program was discontinued in 2012 leaving the EGBSC to review options as to how their stewardship work on Georgian Bay could continue. The Council incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in 2014 and broadened their focus from fisheries to include other stewardship and species at risk projects.

“The EGBSC has a lot to its credit”, says GBBR General Manager, Greg Mason; “from its roots as a group tied to MNR it has managed to do important fish habitat and monitoring work from the Severn River up to the Key River.  Big projects like the Moon River and Musquash River habitat improvement as well as the recent multi-year assessments on seven major rivers, have set the stage for improved fish populations and more great work to come.”  After many years working on Georgian Bay and inland lakes, Crawford says: “We’re proud of the partnerships we’ve nurtured with volunteers, NGOs, First Nations and the public sector and are keen to see those continue.”

Now, the Council has signed an agreement for the transition period and terms of reference for a new Stewardship Committee of GBBR. Crawford explains: “We see merits and opportunities in more closely aligning our work with GBBR and continuing to partner for conservation and stewardship.”

Ron Chase, Chair of the GBBR agrees: “GBBR is committed to working collaboratively to support and enhance the legacy of EGBSC. We look forward to encouraging the involvement of individuals and groups focused on championing the important issues of fisheries health and habitat restoration. GBBR’s conservation-related programs such as State of the Bay, Species at Risk, Lessons in a Backpack all provide solid platforms to further the important work of the Council and we look forward to future planning with volunteers, scientists and other groups.” 

As of April 1, 2018, GBBR is managing EGBSC’s current projects (tributary monitoring and monarch gardens) and the first meeting of the new committee will be in September 2018. The new Stewardship Committee of GBBR will focus on defining its goals and drafting a work plan for the year ahead.  If members of the public are interested in becoming involved in the GBBR Stewardship Committee, they are encouraged to reach out to Katrina Krievins [email protected] or Greg Mason [email protected].

Wiigwaasi Jiimaanke – Birch Bark Canoe Build

Boozhoo Kiinaweya!
Zhowshkawabunokwe miinwaa Kyla ndizhnikaaz, Waabzheshii ndoodem, Shawanaga ndoonjeba, Anishinabekwe ndaaw. 
Greetings everyone! 
My Anishinabe name translates to Blue Dawn, my given name is Kyla. I am a member of the Marten clan, Shawanaga is my home, and I am an Anishinabekwe.
For four weeks this summer, the Shawanaga First Nation Healing Centre hosted a Wiigwaasi Jiimaanke – a birch bark canoe build. We harvested and gathered for the first two weeks in July and built the Jiimaan, canoe, in the last two weeks of August. Everything used to build the Jiimaan, comes from the land. We used spruce roots to sew the birch together, cedar for the gunwales, spruce pitch to patch the holes from sewing, iron wood for mallets to split the cedar – and of course, white birch for the Jiimaan itself! The days were long and well spent, a lot of patience, gratitude and love has been shared with the Jiimaan.
This picture shows an old Anishinabeg method of transporting our harvest out of the bush. It is a basswood rope, woven and braided to tie around the rolled birch (which is rolled with ferns inside to help keep the wiigwaas from drying out), then the strap is placed around the front of the forehead of the person carrying the wiigwaas. This method lessens the stress on your back, as the materials sit comfortably in your lower back. This also makes it easier to carry materials for a longer distance! 
On Friday August 30th, we celebrated the birth of the Jiimaan on Mnidoo Gamii, Georgian Bay! Gchimiigwetch, thank you very much, to the Great Lakes Canoe Journey Program – Sylvia Plain, as well as Kevin Finney and Laban Smith for sharing the love of Anishinabeg technology, resiliency, and relationship building. Gchimiigwetch to the Shawanaga First Nation Healing Centre for sharing the opportunity! More pictures and information can be found online

Biosphere Member Profile: Township of Georgian Bay

The Township of Georgian Bay has been a Biosphere Member since 2012. The township participates in and leads several different environmental initiatives, including partnering on the addition of Electric Vehicle Charging Stations at the Port Severn Petro-Canada Station.
These electric chargers were installed via the Electric Vehicle Chargers Ontario (EVCO) Provincial Initiative in 2016. The eight chargers also encourage the travelling public to visit Port Severn to charge their cars. All electric vehicles can be charged here, and the cost of the charge is realized by the driver. G and G Travel Centre, is pleased to partner with EVCO to ensure that this station has chargers available 24/7. These locations are also pinned to sites on Charge Point and EVCO. Banners were installed to let the public know of the charging options.  

Brew Ha Ha Tickets

Please bring your receipt to Brew Ha Ha at Seguin Valley Golf Course, Sat. October 20th, doors open 6:00pm. Or pick up tickets from Biosphere office 11 James Street, Parry Sound prior to October 19th. Tickets will not be sold at the event.

Biosphere Member Profile: Pointe au Baril Islander Association

By: Hilde Clark

The Pointe au Baril Islanders’ Association (PaBIA) was formed in 1908 when a group of cottagers on the Ojibway Island Hotel’s docks felt, with the growing concerns of cottagers, an association was needed to look after health, fire, boating safety, environment, water quality and the like. The cottagers came to Pointe au Baril, as they did up and down the Georgian Bay coastline, to ‘return’ to nature – to get away from the city pace. Today, we are the largest association in eastern Georgian Bay with over 700 households (about 1500 individuals) who feel an obligation to give back to this unique habitat so we can keep it pristine and safe – thus our support of GBBR.

Over the many years, PaBIA has continued to pursue those interests and concerns in the areas of Environment (Fish & Forestry and Wildlife, Water Quality, Water Levels, Marine Patrol as Crown Land monitors, programs such as the PaBIA Naturalist), as well as Member Safety, Member Activities, Government and Ratepayer Regulatory Affairs and Governance. The Communications and Marketing Team produces our annual Yearbook,, eNewsletters and eBlasts to keep our members informed.

Because of our strong mandate to protect and preserve our Georgian Bay natural region, we find GBBR a tremendous resource and go-to organization whenever we have concerns and/or for wish further education on any number of subjects! Together we are a team!

Find GBBR at one of these great events!

Tues. August 7, 10:00am – Wildlife Murder Mystery for ages 6-12 at the Christie Library, Seguin

Tues. August 7, 9:00am – find the GBBR table at the Parry Sound Summer Market!

Sat. August 11, 10:00am – find GBBR at the Britt 150 Anniversary Celebration at the Britt Recreation Centre

Sun. August 12, 10:00am – State of the Bay presentation at Ojibway Club, Pointe au Baril (boat access

Wed. August 15, 11:00am – GBBR will join the Team All Abilities Celebration at Waubuno Beach, Parry Sound

Sat. August 18, 10:00am – 12:00pm – Children’s Water Festival at Fitzgerald Beach, Carling

Tues. August 21, 9:00am – find the GBBR table at the Parry Sound Summer Market!

Sat. August 25, 9:00am – Catch the GBBR booth at the Parry Sound Hunters & Anglers Show at the Mactier Arena

Sat. Sept. 1, Catch the GBBR booth at the Foley Fall Fair

Sat. October 20th, 6:00pm – Seguin Valley Golf Club, Brew Ha Ha, Tickets on sale September 1st