Huron Fringe Birding Festival
May 29 to June 30 and June 2 to June 5, 2021
The Huron Fringe Birding Festival has been forever changed by the Covid 19 pandemic. The Festival Committee had to cancel the 2020 Festival, but felt it was really important to continue to connect with all our festival participants. So, in 2021, the Huron Fringe Birding Festival Virtual-Lite was created. This Festival-Lite consisted of 7 evenings of virtual presentations and was able to boast over 1200 attendees from around the globe.
What is next? We want to return to what we have done in the past ... support the Friends of MacGregor Point by providing an event that educates and inspires people of all ages and abilities; where we can meet face to face (probably with masks) and resurrect what we are best known for – a friendly, welcoming festival.
The dates for 2022 are set for May 27 – June 5. The Program Committee is meeting and is generating ideas related to the program. Our Festival Committee will be looking at how we will function in 2022 as we know there must be changes. There will be new programs as we continue to strive to provide our participants with a world class Festival, headquartered out of MacGregor Point Provincial Park. The Huron Fringe Birding Festival program will be posted at huronfringebirdingfestival.ca in early January and registration will begin on March 1, 2022.
In 2019, the Huron Fringe Birding Festival Committee was nominated for Ontario Nature’s W. E. Saunders Natural History Award for its successful program; a program that raises awareness of nature among people of all ages. Nominees for the W.E. Saunders Nature History Award (Individual or Group) must achieve a significant goal related to an aspect of natural history or natural science research. This could include developing key natural history resources (e.g., atlases, inventories, studies), raising public awareness of natural history, demonstrating local leadership, saving a natural area, or generating conservation funds or publications. Our Festival Committee members are definitely Nature Heroes.
Changes to the FOMPP Board of Directors
June 23, 2021
This year we have had two directors step down - Sue Little (president) and Doug Pedwell (Huron Fringe Birding Festival liason). We are sad to see them go. Hopefully, they will return to help the board in the future.
Sue McCulloch Little
Sue joined the board in 2015. Since all three of her children worked at MacGregor Point Park as students, she was excited to join the board to volunteer and give back to the park. She started in membership and donations, worked on developing the volunteer contact lists and tried to increase opportunities for volunteers in the park. When the Friends were asked to provide barbecue lunches for the Huron Fringe Birding Festival, Sue took the Food Safety training course and learned how to organize these events for the FOMPP. She developed a small committee to help organize food fundraisers. Sue was also treasurer and president during her years with the board. She worked on developing our new website and updating the core values. She has described her time with the board as very rewarding. Sue devoted both time and energy in her various roles with the board. She will be missed.
New Board Members July 15, 2021
We would also like to welcome the return of Stew Nutt to the directors this year. His previous experience with the board will be a huge benefit as we continue to work through the limitations due to COVID 19.
Two other people have joined the board of directors for the coming year - Marshall Byle and Sue McCulloch. Sue will be assuming the role of secretary. Welcome to the board!
Annual General Meeting
June 17, 2021
On Thursday, June 17 the Friends of MacGregor Point Park held their Annual General Meeting by video conference. There were 25 members in attendance. Presentations were made about work completed in the past year, the finances for 2021YE, the budget for 2022YE, and plans for the coming year. We were also happy to have Katheen Chayer join us to present the Park Liaison report. Matt Cunliffe presented the Superintendent report. The finances and the affairs of the Friends of MacGregor Point Park were approved. Three new directors were approved and welcomed- Stewart Nutt, Sue McCulloch, and Marshall Byle. Congratulations to Doug Gordon, Doug Martin, Sarah Martin, Nancy Robinson, and Jeff Hemming for winning a Friends T-shirt to finish off the night. Thanks to all who attended.
May 23, 2021
This year the Friends have donated additional nesting boxes for protecting turtle nests throughout the park. Discovery department staff will deploy these between late May to early July and will monitor for the emergence of hatchlings in late August. If you notice a turtle nesting in the park, call the Visitor Center (519-389-6231) to notify staff. Together we can help these ancient and majestic creatures.
The Friends of MacGregor Point Park would like to thank Mike Helt for building the turtle nesting boxes.
Welcome back warblers!
May 20, 2021
The warblers are back in the park! This is an excellent time of year to view these beautiful birds as they make their way north along the Huron Fringe Migratory Path. The Tower Trail near the Ducks Unlimited pond is one popular viewing spot. Thank you to Stewart Nutt for providing the stunning photographs of our short term visitors to MacGregor Point Park.
Welcome back Matt!
April 28, 2021
Matt started with Ontario Parks in 2006, following his passion of helping people connect with the natural world. With over a decade spent working as a park interpreter and three years as an assistant park planner, he brings an insightful perspective when educating park visitors and encouraging ecologically sustainable exploration of our protected areas. An avid trail user and self-proclaimed nature geek, when he’s not on the clock you’re likely to find him onto a new discovery somewhere in one of our parks.
He was first hired by the Friends of MacGregor Point Park as a summer student, operating the visitor’s centre. Then he was brought in as an Ontario Parks student helping with children’s weekly programs. Over the years, he has worked in a variety of positions with Ontario Parks. Through roles such as Senior Park Interpreter, Natural Heritage Education Leader, Assistant Park Planner and Head Gate Attendant, he has experience in MacGregor Point Provincial Park and Inverhuron Provincial Park. He has also worked in both the southwest and northeast zones.
Now he has returned to MacGregor Point Park as the Chief Park Naturalist, leading the Discovery Program. He is looking forward to expanding the monitoring and resource management efforts at MacGregor Point and across the parks in our cluster.
Matt is looking forward to guiding forest succession post Emerald Ash Borer and managing invasive species in the park. He is also excited about continuing the progress of interpretive programs by developing high quality, experiential programs. He is a certified trainer through the National Association for Interpretation and will be offering Certified Interpretive Guide courses for Discovery staff in the park and across the province.
Matt’s interest and enthusiasm for all things natural has lead to a career filled with challenge and interesting positions. His goal of helping people connect with the natural environment is of particular importance these days. His wonderful sense of humour and engaging personality will be beneficial in his new role with MacGregor Point Park.
Farewell to Kathleen
March 23, 2021
The Friends of MacGregor Point Park would like to thank Kathleen for her many years of excellent service at the Visitor Center, and wish her all the best on her new job at the Pinery Provincial Park. Kathleen started working at the Visitor Center as a summer student in 2012. She became a resource technician in 2014 and became Discovery Program Leader in 2017.
Her friendliness and passion for nature and environmental education made her a valuable resource for the Friends of MacGregor Point Park. The Friends appreciate her contributions to the Friends group and commitment to the park during her work here. She helped to create excellent resources and her leadership abilities were appreciated by both students and the Friends organization.