Exploring our Biosphere Reserve: A Guided Kayak Trip on the French and Pickerel Rivers

Join Biosphere guides to kayak the Pickerel and French River outlets and explore an ecological gem within the biosphere reserve. Geologically, glacial melt waters have carved wondrous formations in the rock. Learn about the role of coastal wetlands and biodiversity, cultural harvests and trade routes and see how this ecosystem responds to the recent forest fire.

The myriad islands of the French River delta are a delight to paddle and entertain a  desire to get just a bit lost, knowing that our comfortable camp is waiting. The site of a recent fire is our teacher, showing how nature is changed and responds under these conditions. Our five days will be divided between paddling and relaxing: reading a book or playing guitar, swimming and just soaking up that Georgian Bay feeling. This trip is generously hosted by White Squall Paddling Centre and will be a partial fundraiser for the Georgian Bay Biosphere with some proceeds donated to GBBR.

Book this trip now!

Biosphere Member Profile: Parry Sound Anglers & Hunters

By: Mike Corson

Parry Sound Anglers and Hunters (PSAH) has been a Biosphere Member since 2012. PSAH was incorporated in 1970 although it’s history goes back to early in the past century. The current club is situated on approximately 8 acres at 41 Brooks Rd in Seguin Township. Our membership has grown substantially in the past few years and we now accommodate about 450 men and women. We are proponents of hunting, fishing and shooting sports, and we are actively engaged in conservation activities. Our members have participated in tree planting, building duck boxes as well as mallard nests. In the fall, we partnered with the GBBR to facilitate a bat house building workshop and information session. Conservation is a priority and we look forward to assisting the GBBR in other species at risk and conservation projects!

A group of the Parry Sound Anglers & Hunters stands with the bat house building kits they made for the All About Bats event hosted with GBBR.

Biosphere Member Profile: Mary Street Centre

With several community partners, the GBBR was granted funds in 2014 from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to pilot a program that would invite those interested in building cooking skills and making healthy meals together to cook once a week. It is an initiative that is open to all members of the Parry Sound community including lower income individuals and families, vulnerable young adults and adults with disabilities.

For 2019, Community Kitchens is being offered at the Mary Street Centre at St. James United Church, in partnership with Community Living Parry Sound. Mary Street Centre has been a Biosphere Member since 2017.

The program helps to provide access to healthy food in two meaningful ways: through meals and through food skills education. The program also increases food security for participants and offers them the opportunity to overcome social isolation. A number of participants have had their lives transformed by the program.

A typical session is four hours long and group sizes for this program are 10-18 participants per session. Recipes are shared, food is prepared, meals are eaten together, and leftovers are available to take home. Participants suggest meal ideas, the coordinator designs healthy meal plans on a budget, and everyone is encouraged to contribute $2 per session. This program has been successful in helping to build and strengthen the community in Parry Sound. Donations directly to St. James United Church are always welcome! View the Mary Street Centre Facebook page for program updates and schedules.

Biosphere Member Profile: GED Achievement

By: Kerri Murtie

GED Achievement ® is proud to be a Biosphere Member. The GED (General Education Development) is a certificate awarded by the Ministry of Education, earned by individuals who never completed traditional high school. Carrying the same weight as the OSSD (Ontario Secondary School Diploma), it entitles people to apply to colleges, universities, and enter apprenticeship programs.

Started in 1996 by Roy Hardie, it grew to include programs offered in the GTA north to Lake Simcoe, west to Niagara, and also delivered programs to employees sponsored by corporations. With changing times, the number of locations has shrunk to just two in Toronto, still offering a program often lauded for being the cheapest, shortest – but with the highest success rate in the province. We have some clients here in the Parry Sound area that have worked to earn their Ontario High School Equivalency Certificate.

GED Achievement is focused on running as green a business as possible, mainly by reducing the amount of paper files and paper communication. So much is digital these days, and we can do our small part to reduce the numbers of trees lost and to use recycled paper products only as needed. Learn more online or contact us at 705.746.9111 or [email protected].

Biosphere Member Profile: Point Pleasant Marina Ltd.

Point Pleasant Marina was incorporated in 1965. Drew and Sherry Lichtenheldt purchased the marina in 2007. Top priority was to operate a clean and environmentally conscious facility. Point Pleasant joined the Clean Marine program right away and currently holds their highest platinum rating. We are very proud of that rating, we have all worked very hard to achieve it. Point Pleasant was one of the first three marinas in the province to be awarded the platinum rating.
Point Pleasant firmly believes that we are stewards of the bay and in this manner we also help educate our boaters to be stewards of the bay. There isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t feel very fortunate to wake up on the bay, work on the bay, live on the bay and play on the bay.
Georgian Bay truly is a special place to call home. We are members of a number of organizations and supporting the GBBR is a natural fit. Prime example is their Kids in the Biosphere program. The participants of that program will be the next generation on the bay and they need to do better than we have in protecting it. The program teaches them so much at a young age about the environment, nature and how to respect and treat it. Well done GBBR, we feel fortunate to be able to support your great work.