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.
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 display enhancements and bird feed. Brand new canoes, canoeing equipment, and a trailer were bought by The Friends so that guided canoe hikes can be held in the bay. 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 2018, 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 Provincial Park such as the Paddling Puppeteers
- Awarded a student bursaries to an outstanding student employee of Rondeau
- Purchased Monarch Butterfly tags for the Monarch Migration Festival
- Purchased multiple new interpretive signs and materials for displays within the Visitor Centre
- Sponsored a Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup within Rondeau
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
2022 Friends of Rondeau Raffle Prize Winners are:
The 1st ticket drawn: Grand Prize – Yeti package, and 2023 Ontario Parks Annual Pass
B. Beaubieu, Chatham, Ontario
The 2nd ticket drawn: Eagle Quilt by Violet Verhoog, and 2023 Ontario Parks Annual Pass
C. Oliver, London, Ontario
The 3rd ticket drawn: 2023 Ontario Parks Annual Pass
L. Gillett, Ontario