Member Profile: Crane Lake Association

Crane Lake Association was established in 1968, and has been a Biosphere Charter Member since 2014.

CLA provides an organized approach towards environmental concerns, water and fire safety and risk management, represents members in matters of mutual interest pertaining to Crane Lake, and encourages social activities.

Activities of the CLA include water quality monitoring, an annual regatta and sailing race, and the development and maintenance of a strong fire response committee, including ownership of a Fire Boat and multiple fire pumps. One of the CLA’s prime objectives is promoting conservation of land, water, fish and wildlife at Crane Lake. A partnership with GBBR has supported the CLA in providing educational seminars regarding environmental issues and the “Kids in the Biosphere” program in 2016.
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Amazing Places open for summer in UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve

The Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve has received a grant from Mountain Equipment Co-op to improve infrastructure and access to several of the Amazing Places. Twin Points Trail Killbear_Meg Wallace

Ten Amazing Places were nominated by the public to showcase special features of the Georgian Bay Biosphere region. The program wants to connect people to nature, and is developing a route with community partners to encourage people to get outside and experience the 30,000 Islands area.

The $14,368 from MEC will go towards signage, bike racks, and trails to enhance access to Amazing Place locations. Partners at each place will install trailhead signs that highlight activities year-round, natural wonders, and cultural history.

Maps of cycling routes will accompany the bike racks – designed by Active Transportation – for downtown Parry Sound and throughout the region. Finally, the grant will support the work of volunteers at Killbear Provincial Park by improving trails and wheelchair accessibility on the Twin Points Trail, and by providing over 200 wayfinding signs for Georgian Nordic’s trail system.Mountain biking on Lynx Looop at Georgian Nordic_credit Peter Istvan

As the project grows, it will encourage more people to get out and explore the Amazing Places in eastern Georgian Bay, highlighting unique species, geology and views that depict the character of the region. Photo contests, school field trips, and citizen science programs are all planned, as well as expansion of the website, visitamazingplaces.ca.

“We are happy to see partnerships that strengthen trails and active living,” says Lynn Middaugh, Director, Development and Leisure Services for the Town of Parry Sound. “Our Trails Master Plan highlights the need for infrastructure and trail maps. Residents and visitors will benefit from the Amazing Places program which is spread throughout the region.”

Activities supported by the project extend to all ages and abilities: in-town cycling on the popular Rotary and Algonquin Regiment Waterfront Trail in Parry Sound; hiking, walking, jogging, biking, and skiing at the Georgian Nordic Activity Centre and and extended access to provincial parks, spring through fall.

Wil Smith from Get Outdoors Parry Sound says he’s excited about the year-round trail signs at Georgian Nordic: “New signs will help skiers, hikers and mountain bikers stay on the right trail loops. They will help people navigate better and improve their safety.”

“Amazing Places is focused on improving access by developing and promoting areas that can handle visitor traffic,” said Allison Graham, project intern. “The grant from MEC will help us to improve the experience with light infrastructure while minimizing impact to the natural environment.”Amazing Places in Georgian Bay Biosphere

1 French River Gorge: Check out the pedestrian bridge for an incredible view.

2 Lynx Loop: Venture over to the Georgian Nordic Activity Centre to find 30 km of year-round trails.

3 Twin Points Trail: This 1.8 moderate trail showcases the breathtaking scenery of Killbear Provincial Park.

4 Hole in the Wall: Cruise through this narrow channel of steep rock cliffs and ancient trees.

5 Waterfront Trail: An accessible 8km trail on the Town of Parry Sound’s shoreline.

6 Tower Hill Lookout: Climb 30 meters up to enjoy a spectacular 360° view of the Sound.

7 Park to Park Trail: Stretching 230km in total, this multi-use trail invites hiking and biking.

8 The Massasauga: Paddle through this cluster of islands to witness incredible geological patterns.

9 Johnston’s Cranberry Marsh: Provides tours and trails of the vast cranberry bog, year-round.

10 Christian Beach: The west side of Beausoleil Island in Georgian Bay Islands National Park provides incredible sunsets.

Member Profile: Festival of the Sound

Festival of the Sound, a charitable not-for-profit organization, is Canada’s premier summer classical music event and has been a tradition in Parry Sound, Ontario for the last 36 years. The Festival has been a Biosphere Charter member since 2013 and has proven its popularity time and time again with sell out performances and events. Annually the Festival features over sixty unique events, over fifty renowned artists and over twenty ensembles from around the world at a variety of local venues, the majority of the performances held in the Charles W. Stockey Centre on the shores of Georgian Bay.

The Festival has been a green Festival over the years; encouraging the use of reusable bottles, recycle at all costs, no use of Styrofoam cups and using a clean printing process with little to no water use or contamination.

Festival of the Sound was officially recognized by Festivals and Events Ontario as one of Ontario’s Top 100 Festivals or Events. Festivals and Events Ontario also recognized Festival of the Sound with an Achievement Award for ‘Best Fundraising Idea’ which was titled Kids on the Bus. The fundraiser directly supported Festival of the Sound’s youth education program Music Scores. This program brings acclaimed musicians into ten area schools including Public, Catholic and First Nations. Festival of the Sound provides the Music Scores program at no cost to the schools or students.

Join Festival of the Sound this summer to celebrate their 37th Season from July 15th to August 7th. For more info contact [email protected] or call 1-866-364-0061.

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We’re Hiring!

The Conservation Program Assistant will support the development and implementation of stewardship, wildlife and water quality research projects on eastern Georgian Bay. The CPA will be involved in a range of roles and responsibilities on several of the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve’s conservation programs (e.g. State of the Bay, Love Your Bay, Life on the Bay).

View the job ad here.

Member Profile: Coolearth Architecture Inc.

unnamed(1)Coolearth Architecture Inc. has been a Biosphere Charter Member since 2012. Committed to designing comfortable and sustainable homes, Coolearth recently designed off-grid, year-round cabins for the Parry Sound area. Another local, sustainable design project has been with the Parry Sound District Social Services Administration Board, a LEED Silver certified facility in Parry Sound.

Coolearth encourages builders, architects and home owners to contribute to sustainability; technology and knowledge exist to make meaningful a impact. The tools to make buildings net-zero are readily available, net-zero buildings consume and generate an equal amount of energy. Energy efficient buildings mean less money spent on fuel and electricity; good jobs; more comfortable buildings; insurance against spikes in energy costs; and  resilience in power outages.

Whether it is LEED, Passive House, or just simple and smart sustainable solutions, Coolearth architects can help anyone realize their building’s sustainability potential. Contact Coolearth here to schedule a free consultation or learn more at www.coolearth.ca.

Where Are They Now? by Kaitlin Chantler

unnamedI worked as Education Coordinator for GBBR in 2013. My main roles were running outdoor programs, facilitating lessons-in-a-backpack with schools, and kids  programs on the islands.

After my year at the Biosphere I ended up in Calgary working as an Aquatic Specialist for an environmental consulting company, CH2M Hill. I was hired to conduct fish habitat assessments and water quality monitoring for development projects in BC and Alberta. CH2M is a global company, so more diverse projects have became available.

Recently I took an opportunity to work in Colorado and Utah, as a biologist. My role is to walk through old mining claims, locate historic mining activity, document plants and animals, and potential pathways of contamination into the environment. I love the position because, like my time at the Biosphere, it involves learning about local ecology. However, its not as rewarding as being on the Bay and sharing the excitement of finding frogs with kids!