Posts Tagged ‘awenda’

Provincial Park Image of the day: Awenda in spring

April 14, 2013

My mother, son and I returned to Awenda Provincial Park on April 13 and had a good walk although no wildlife was spotted.

Again, we visited a beach and again, I admired the ice piles.

blog awenda hike (3) blog awenda hike (4)

I could have walked out to them, I think.  The last four metres was of thick-but-broken-and-refrozen ice and where I could see water, something in the clarity wailed cold.  I was still going to do it, but my son was watching and I decided not to demonstrate what foolishness I am capable of.

blog awenda hike (5)

We found one fin and one deer scapula (?) blog awenda hike (6)

My son likes to be clear on where precisely he is.  When he learned we were just outside of Penetanguishene and in Tiny Township, he decided this line was the border and delighted in hopping in and out of Penetanguishene.

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Since I’ve returned, deep views into forest have become fascinating to me but I cannot explain why or take a photo that offers the same pull.blog awenda hike (10)

Awenda has a small ampitheatre and stage.  I hope to hear some wildlife talks or the like there.blog awenda hike (11)

 

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Skiing Awenda in the Winter (Provincial Park Photo(s) of the day)

March 23, 2013

I keep saying Awenda is little known, but perhaps I have merely been there on quiet days. The Friends of Awenda page  seems well done.

I had a great ski there with my mother on Friday and want to go back.  I’m lucky to have gotten this day in so I doubt I’ll make it next week.

One problem with skiing there is there are only two ‘official’ trails, a short, easy 4 km or a long 13 km.  I’ve managed 10 km in a day, more or less, but didn’t feel up to 13.  So we followed a ski trail to the beach.  It was around 5 km as a 2.5 km in and out on the same trail -no loop.  The map showed the beach route, but I think it was only as part of the regular map, only the two trails above were explicitly described.

The skiing scratched an itch I didn’t know I had.  The silence was total and I felt like a church-farter when I yelled a comment to my mother.

among the giants

among the giants

 

 

 

 
winter awenda (10) resized

 

I think this is Christian Island.winter awenda (14) resized

 

The pictures above and below show how cold it can be.  You can see that the waves froze in mid-surge.winter awenda frozen wave blog ready

 

On the way to the park, we saw a fox run across the road.  The first I have seen in Ontario.  Midland Naturalists reported in February seeing 22 deer at one time in the park but we saw none.  There many tracks of many different animals but none actually seen.

I have decided to add a mark to the bottom of my pictures.  I have never previously worried about copyright or intellectual property theft (the benefit of being a poor photographer, I guess) and the writing is low enough to be cropped out if someone wanted to.  I welcome the idea of others using my pictures but want to keep some kind of identifying mark on them.  Suggestions? Ideas? Should I have the full url for my blog?

The closing of Springwater Park

March 19, 2013

On Saturday, my son and I visited Springwater Provincial Park. along with a few hundred others, to show support for the continued existence of the park which is slated to lose its status at the end of the month.  It is a great little park and everyone there had fun.

Springwater links:  Facebook, Barrie Examiner.

I will be sad to see the park go but I can’t claim to be heavily invested in it.  It is a great local park for Barrie but I have only visited it twice.  I guess I won’t be visiting it again as it will become a ‘non-operational’ park the beginning of April.  I think that means the cross country hiking or ski trails will continue to be open but the animal sanctuary, the unique part of the park, will be no more.

Animal sanctuaries are my thing.  I love seeing local wildlife close up and even as a young adult would call strangers walking down the street to see some raccoon or snake I had found.  The Robertcats (I convinced my son that it was too informal to call them ‘bobcats’) and lynx were the first I had seen ever. I even loved the “site vacant” signs with their explanation that the park did not buy or collect animals but only provide a home for those unable to return to the wild. This kind of viewing opportunity needs to be preserved.


The thing is, from a numbers standpoint, the park really should be shut down.  I said that several hundred people attended the Saturday gathering, but that is probably the same number as visited the park in two or three months last year.  This is a local secret that people only seem to learn about from word of mouth.

I hope Springwater stays open but I also hope other people and parks are taking a second look at marketing and public awareness.  I’ve been out of the country for thirteen years so perhaps my ability, or lack of, to name parks is no indicator of the average Ontarians’.  I looked at the Ontario Provincial Parks website and was happily surprised to see how many there are, and how many I didn’t know about in my neighbourhood.  Well, I might be a little upset, too.

Why aren’t these parks better known?  Springwater is a great park that I suspect no one knew about three months ago.  I only recently learned that Springwater has cross country ski trails.  Wish I’d known that in early February.

As I’ve repeatedly written, I’ve been away.  I am not sure what the responsibilities of a park are compared to the responsibilities of the “Friends of…”  Who is involved in marketing?  How professional are these groups.  Back in the nineties, I had thought “Friends of Algonquin Park” was a volunteer organization of enthusiasts.

The thing I want is for those responsible for Awenda Prov Park and Arrowhead Prov Park to be sure they are keeping their parks in the public’s eye.  These are two great places that I know about that don’t get much attention. I know nothing about Bass Lake, McCrae or Mara Provincial Parks even though I drive within 50kms of them twice or more a month.  Explorer’s Edge, are these parks are in your region of responsibility?

What advice can I give to the marketers?  Well, I have a few ideas.

First, when you make a website, Facebook page, Google+ or Twitter account, Keep Adding Content!  The Wye Marsh, a great place that also needs to be aware of its marketing, offers both a good and bad example.  The Facebook page Wye Marsh has four friends and five photos (all mine!).  It has been in operation for two years with no apparent support from Marsh management.  The Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre, another Facebook page, is full of what appears to be daily content.  Attention seems to attract attention.  Next to actual Wye Marsh generated content is more content made and prepared by the public.  Win-win.

Second, make sure you have accounts with the three media above (and more) and your own website.  Link between them.  Really, these two steps are all that is needed for basic Search Engine Optimization.

Third, plan some events and write about them now!  Don’t wait until news comes that your park will soon be shut down. Do it now.