June 28, 2018. The Hibou Wetland Interpretive Trail was officially opened!

We would like to thank all who have supported Friends of Hibou volunteering your time, and energy since we began our work in 2013.  Celebrating the completion of this project was a great event.  It was a sunny warm day.  We enjoyed seeing all those who attended.  Thank you to Carol Harris for these photos.

People gathered at the entrance to the trail. Sonya Skinner, CEO of Grey Sauble Conservation Authority (GSCA) greeted people arriving.

 

 

 

Kate McLaren is past President of OSFN, one of our donors.

Krista Mckee, retired from GSCA, contributed significantly to the design of the signs abd brochure.

Don Sankey, a member of the Friends of Hibou Steering committee is also Chair of the GSCA Foundation, another donor.

Catherine Little, Chair of the  GSCA Board of Governors brought greetings from the GSCA and complimented Friends of Hibou on the work that went into the trail as well as the outcome.

Bob Knapp, Co-Chair of the Committee, spoke about the history of Friends of Hibou and introduced the speakers.

Dick Hibma, past Board Chair expressed his support for this project. He introduced  Larry Miller MP who said he will be bringing his grandchild to walk the trail when they come to visit Owen Sound.

 

Bill Walker MPP spoke of the value of the Interpretive Trail in educating as well as in promoting and supporting general health and well being.

 

 

 

Don Sankey thanked the Funders: Kiwanis Club of Owen Sound, OSFN, Community Foundation, Bob and Marie Knapp  Family Endowment Fund (Community Foundation), GSCA Foundation, TD Environmental Fund.   Marie Knapp expressed the vision seeing a future where parents and grandparents bring their children to the Trail.  She also invited teachers to bring classes there for the many ways the trail supports the curriculum at several levels. The brochure is available in the box below the signs at both entrances and on line if someone wishes to review it in advance.

The Trail was officially opened when the ribbon was cut by Stewart Reid of Community Foundation with Kate McLaren of OSFN and Kevin Dandeno of the Kiwanis.

Following a short meet and greet with light refreshments, Bob Knapp led a walk around the trail loop.

 

We hope you will find an opportunity to walk the trail.  Pick up a brochure at the large sign and read the interpretive comments related to each number as you reach the appropriate post.  Wetlands serve a valuable purpose in preventing flooding and helping to filter surface water. They also provide habitat for plants and animals not found elsewhere. Enjoy your walk through this wetland.

 

 

 

 

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May 2017: Hibou Trail Clipping Afternoon

Volunteers can help us improve the trails.

When:  Tuesday May 9/17 at 1:oopm till about 3:30

Where:  Meet us at the first parking lot after the Hibou Entrance coming from Owen Sound.

What to bring:  large branch clippers, work gloves, water and hat etc.

Giving the trails a good clipping in the spring keeps them in good shape for the rest of the year. It would be helpful if you could let us know if you are coming.  But just showing up is fine too.

Our Website: We are feeling really good about enhancements we have made to our web site.  Click here to look around the site.  You may even see your picture on it somewhere.

Note:  Committee members meet briefly at 12:30 same location.

Grand Opening of the Hibou Boardwalk Trail May 10, 2015

Opening 1The 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.

 

Opening 2The 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.

 

Opening 3Bob 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.

 

 

 

Opening 4 The group enjoys walking along the 200 feet of Boardwalk built by volunteers and laid down late fall 2014.

 

 

 

 

Opening 5Marie 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.

Enthusiastic Group Begins

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!