About the Friends of Rondeau
The Friends of Rondeau is a non-political, registered charity which was created in 1986 to encourage and support preservation, education, research projects, and historical & and interpretive programs in Rondeau Provincial Park. The Friends is run by a volunteer board of directors who all have a particular interest in and dedication to Rondeau.
New members and volunteers are always welcome!
The Friends sponsor three major events annually: the Wings of Spring Festival in March which celebrates the migration of Tundra Swans and other waterfowl; the Festival of Flight during the songbird migration in May in which the Friends welcome large numbers of birdwatchers by providing guided bird hikes and offering breakfast & lunch; and the Monarch Migration Festival which highlights the migration of the monarch butterfly and supports the Monarch Watch tagging program.
The Friends of Rondeau raised funds to construct a viewing platform on the Marsh Trail which not only gives visitors a great look at the bay, but also provides a perfect setting for NHE staff to educate visitors about Rondeau’s Class A marsh and the Rondeau Bay ecosystem.
In 2012 a boardwalk was completed on the oak savannah and dune portion of Tulip Tree Trail which also allows the NHE staff to educate the public about the rare species of flora and fauna found in this habitat.
The Friends of Rondeau partnered with OMAFRA and local landowners in the restoration of wetlands on the west shore of Rondeau Bay with the goal of improving water quality in the bay
The Friends provided the Natural Heritage Education Program with canoes and paddles, an all-terrain wheelchair, Visitor Centre display enhancements and bird feed. In addition, funds were provided to construct a nature garden at the Visitor Centre and a one-way glass window was installed in the VC so birds and other wildlife can be viewed without being disturbed. Special programs and guest speakers are also funded by the Friends.
In 2016, the Friends were involved in several activities designed to improve and maintain park habitat as well as increase public awareness of Rondeau and participation in park activities.
- Hired an expert bird guide to lead hikes during our Festival of Flight
- Sponsored multiple guest speakers to deliver educational programming to visitors to Rondeau Park such as the Ontario Falconry Centre
- Supported an ongoing study of Eastern Foxsnakes in Rondeau
- Awarded two student bursaries to outstanding student employees of Rondeau, Emily Toll and Heather Van Den Diepstraten
- Purchased Monarch butterfly tags for the Monarch Migration Festival
- Purchased multiple new interpretive signs for Visitor Centre displays
- Supported the Rondeau Turtle Recovery Program in conjunction with Wildlife Preservation Canada
- Sponsored a Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup within Rondeau
- Hired a student to assist with ongoing maintenance of Rondeau’s trail system
The Friends of Rondeau raises funds to accomplish these activities by
- selling books, souvenirs and park oriented publications in the Carolinian Corner Gift Shop located in the Rondeau Visitor Centre
- holding an annual raffle
- selling memberships and accepting general donations
- applying for project-specific grants
- accepting donations for the purchase of native plants used to restore degraded habitat
- holding fund-raising activities during Rondeau special events
2016 Friends of Rondeau Raffle Prize Winners are:
First Ticket Drawn: Grand Prize – 2 Bicycles, Retail $1000
S. Copeman, Toronto, Ontario
Second Ticket Drawn: Rondeau Quilt by Violet Verhoog, Value $250
M. Richmond, Ridgetown, Ontario
Third Ticket Drawn: 2017-2018 Ontario Parks Pass, Value $150 – to be mailed in April, 2017
E. A. James, Blenheim, Ontario
Thanks to every one for your support!
2017 Board Meetings
January 22nd- Business Meeting- Board members only- Community Room at the Blenheim Community Funeral Home 10:00am
**All other meetings are open to all members!**
March 26th – 10:00am Community Room at the Blenheim Community Funeral Home
June 11th – 10:00am Community Room at the Blenheim Community Funeral Home
August 20th – AGM – 10:00am at the Visitor Centre (public also welcome to attend)
November 19th – 10:00am Location TBD