The new boardwalk trail is ready to be officially opening. Marie Knapp talks about how it was a community that brought the Conservation Area into being, a community that began Friends of Hibou and now a community of volunteers that built the Boardwalk.
The Trail is officially opened when Evelyn Holley who is on the Friends of Hibou Committee, and Susan Tuohy, Bank Manager from TD Canada Trust, the funder of the materials necessary to build the Boardwalk, cut the yellow ribbon.
Bob talks about how the Boardwalk makes an area passable that would otherwise be underwater due to Beaver activity and nature. In spring the wetlands come to life.
The group enjoys walking along the 200 feet of Boardwalk built by volunteers and laid down late fall 2014.
Marie shows Susan where we walked in and how the trail system works. There are maps at all junctures on the trails and each map is placed so the reader is facing North to simplify map reading.
In the Fall of 2014, an enthusiastic group of volunteers built and placed about 200 ft of boardwalk over a wet portion of trail. That trail had been impassible for a good portion of the year. Now we will celebrate by officially opening this new boardwalk.
Come and join us Monday May 11 at 12:30pm for a brief opening ceremony located in the north east section of the park.
Park on the road by the beach entrance and head north towards Leith to the trail entrance. Try to arrive at the Boardwalk for 12:30pm opening which should be very brief. Light refreshments will be served.
Anyone who would like to volunteer for trail work following the opening, bring some clippers or a pruning saw and we’ll be making sure the trails are in good shape.
by Marie Knapp
For me this is like picking up where we left off over 30 years ago. Bob had been very involved with the procurement of Hibou. We have continued to visit the area for a walk along the shore or for a ski or snowshoe over the years. The water levels changing have had an impact on the beach at Paynter’s Bay but that didn’t keep us from entering the trails more to the south and finding a place for a refreshing dip in the water on a hot summer’s day.
Frequently it crossed my mind that we should develop a Friends of Hibou to help with the upkeep of the area. In his book published in 2008, Bob Knapp wrote: “Thirty five years have passed since Hibou became a park. Perhaps it is time to form a friends of Hibou organization to assist with the park so that it continues to be a very special place on Georgian Bay“.
The timing is right. Malcolm Kirk died in September 2012. In his obituary I found the following: “An ardent conservationist throughout his life, Mac was deeply committed to the preservation of Ontario’s and Canada’s natural heritage. Mac and his generation were the pioneers of Ontario’s modern environmental movement. His legacy is manifested in numerous nature reserves which were secured in conjunction with public and non-profit nature organizations.” Yes the time is right! It is partly filling a legacy left behind by those of another generation who were ahead of their times. This is very exciting!