A message from the Park Superintendent
Thank you, Merci, Miigwetch for a wonderful 2018 season!
This year, Georgian Bay Islands National Park (GBINP) welcomed warm weather, plenty of sunshine and countless happy campers. The entire Parks Canada team at GBINP worked hard to offer great experiences for our guests, while taking care of this very special place. As we wave goodbye to our last guests, it’s time to look back at some of our accomplishments.
Our Interpretive programs were better than ever this season and a remarkable number of our guests (one quarter) joined along, whether it was for a family archaeology workshop or a shoreline medicine walk with our Indigenous heritage presenter. Looking at the Trip Advisor reviews, it’s no wonder our interpretation offer was so popular with boaters, day hikers, campers and cabin guests alike!
Yet again this year, our rental cabins were very popular attracting visitors wanting a Georgian Bay waterfront experience in a unique setting. Also, we hosted numerous regional indigenous groups for visits and ceremonies – welcoming them back to such an important cultural landscape that is Beausoleil Island National Historic Site.
Conservation is a big focus in everything we do at GBINP. This year, our devoted science staff and students were busy monitoring the health of park wetlands, forest and coastal areas for species at risk, invasive flora and fauna and other ecological measures. This work is critically important for the protection of the park and to help feed into the bigger picture of environmental trends. We discovered a healthy population of bats on Beausoleil Island and were surprised by the numerous bears that swam to the island in search of food and rest. As a national park with a mandate of protection, these important creatures remind us that we share this special place with all living things and they are essential to a healthy ecosystem.
The high water levels we experienced this year put some pressure on our coastline, especially on park boardwalks and docks. Our team worked hard to address these issues swiftly and we are looking for ways to adapt our infrastructure in the future to better accommodate changing water levels.
This winter, we will be busy setting a course for our next 10 years, as we prepare a new management plan for Georgian Bay Islands National Park. Parks Canada management plans are forward-looking documents that provide a vision of national parks and national historic sites at their future best, and identifies key the strategies for getting there. Parks Canada will be seeking the public’s input on shaping the future vision for this special place, so stay tuned and have your voice heard.
Our future is bright and I can’t wait to see you next year!