Time has flown by this winter for the Biosphere Association. With many projects underway, we are happy to share what lies ahead for us in 2023. We would like to express a huge thank you to the generous organizations, government grants, members, and donors that support our conservation efforts on the beautiful Saugeen Bruce Peninsula.
We are happy to announce that the Bayside Astronomy program will be returning this summer! The program is still looking for Program Managers (anyone under the age of 30 with great public speaking skills and an interest or passion for the night sky). The locations, dates, and offerings will be finalized soon. Keep up to date with program information on the Bayside Astronomy Facebook page, www.facebook.com/baysideastronomy.
Snowshoe to the Grotto
Under the direction of EcoAdventures Board Lead Mike Sehl, we ran another successful season of our Snowshoe the Grotto adventure. Experienced guides Caley Doran and Zane and Muffy Davies led several tours totalling 70 participants, many first timers on snowshoes. Also vital to our success were volunteer sweeps - Mike Campbell, Laura Burnside, Rod Sein, Krista Dovaston, and Richard Wilson Smith and the marketing and admin support from EcoCanada Intern Moira Parker. This winter tourism opportunity creates enthusiasm for sustainable outdoor activities and appreciation of our ecological treasure chest, as well as providing revenue for local businesses during the slow season of the year (sustainable economic development is part of the Biosphere Association’s mission).
New Fat Bike Winter Adventure
Even though winter got off to a slow start we were able to launch a new offering for the 2023 season. Lake Huron Fat Bike Adventure Tour allows participants to explore the snow-covered back roads and trails along an incredible stretch of Lake Huron. The experience crosses several different landscapes, from open fields to forested tracts, to the rugged Lake Huron shoreline, and welcomes all levels of riders. Your guide, Rick Roman, leads participants on the 2-3 hour ride on backroads near Little Pike Bay. A high-quality fat tire bike and helmet are provided for the adventure.
Gravel Gran Fondo
Registration for the 2023 Gran Fondo opened on February 16th and 25% of the available spots are already sold! This year’s Fondo will take place on Sunday, October 1st, 2023. The iconic gravel ride up the east coast of the world-famous Saugeen Bruce Peninsula will follow acclaimed scenic routes. Riders get to choose between the 115km, 80km, 56km, and 30km routes that follow back roads, laneways, and trails up the Niagara Escarpment, following the Georgian Bay shoreline from the Lions Head Lighthouse to Cabot Head. The ride includes:
4 feed stations along the route that serve home-baked goods, fruits, and warm drinks.
2 support vehicles out on the course to provide medical help or other support.
Bike parking during post-event celebrations.
Complimentary lunch until 5 pm.
A new bike wash station.
Craft beer will be served at the festival tent for a small fee.
All riders get a complimentary artistic T-shirt.
3 professional photographers are out on the road capturing photos of all riders - images are made available at no charge.
Register while there are still available spots! Challenge yourself, get outside, and support Bruce Peninsula Biosphere Association projects while you’re at it. This activity would not be possible without our amazing volunteer event organizers, Mike and Jean Campbell.
We would also like to express a huge thank you to the generous sponsors:
GOLD LEVEL: Ashley Jackson - Bruce Peninsula Real Estate Team / REMAX Grey Bruce Realty Inc.
SILVER LEVEL: The Blue Bay Motel Tobermory, RentCottage.com
BRONZE LEVEL: Bruce Anchor Cruises, Blue Heron Cruises Tobermory, The Princess Hotel Tobermory, Zehr Insurance, Summer House Park, RBC Royal Bank, Martin’s Bicycle Shop.
FRIENDSHIP LEVEL: Intelliware Software Developers, Suntrail Source for Adventure, Burgess Engineering, Earth Bound Gardens, The Alliance Lawyers
OTHER SPONSORS: RONA Miller Lake, Bear Tracks Restaurant & Inn, Tobermory Sweet Shop, Three Sheets Brewing.
Easter Eggs & Raffle!
A raffle, featuring David Saunder’s beautiful acrylic painting of Flowerpot Island as a prize, will run from March 25th to July 8th, 2023. Tickets are available from Biosphere board members, at the 2023 Grey Bruce Earth Day event held at the Owen Sound Market building on April 22, 2023, or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. The draw will take place on July 8th at the Ferndale Information Centre at 2 pm.
We are happy to announce that we will be selling our famous, delicious, easter eggs once again. The easter eggs, based on the Laura Secord Easter Egg, are now available to order and forms are available at several local businesses or via email, email@example.com. The cost per 150g egg is $8 or 4 eggs for $30. The eggs have a rich, creamy center with a coating of milk or semi-sweet chocolate, or you can get a semi-sweet chocolate coating with a rum-infused inside. The chocolate is scrumptious, and crunchy which provides a delicious blend of textures that can’t be missed!
For ten years, the Biosphere Association has been working to improve the water quality of the local streams that run into Georgian Bay and Lake Huron. Projects include alternate cattle watering systems, cattle exclusion fencing, best management practices to combat soil erosion, facilitating replacement of 60 polluting septic systems and research to understand and protect the karst springs. In 2016, the Association turned its attention to understanding the impacts on phosphorus loading from tile drainage systems. Work began with Professor Mutus on the bioremediation of tile drain water.
It has continued over the years and with substantial support in 2022 from BioEnterprise which administered the Ontario Agri-food Research Initiative (OAFRI) and Federal Government’s Agri-Science programs we undertook a major effort to develop proof of concept for the Biosphere Association’s Next Generation Controlled Tile Drain. It is designed to both improve farmers’ ability to manage field water thereby improving agricultural productivity and reduce nutrient loss (for example phosphorus), improving environmental performance.
Under the guidance of John Rodgers Board Lead on this project, three university engineering students and one GIS university student worked on:
Designing manufacturing processes for the biofiltration media to allow moving from lab scale to tonne based production, and,
On inventing an Internet of Things based field hydrology monitoring and control system that collects data from a variety of sensors to allow farmers to optimally and automatically retain or release field water.
Work is ongoing and there will be more updates to come on this exciting project. You can also read more on the Biosphere Association’s website, www.bpba.ca, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To mark the 20th Anniversary milestone of the Biosphere Association, we organized an online fundraising auction through Sydenham’s Auction house based in Rockford. The online auction ran from Thursday, December 8th to December 15th. We are happy to announce that we raised over $4500! All proceeds went towards funding Biosphere projects that benefit the community and the environment. Many of our projects require us to match the funding we receive from grants. As a non-profit, meeting these monetary requirements can be very difficult, so all the help is appreciated. We would like to thank our generous donors whose contributions are so valuable to the continuation of our cause:
ARTISTS: Deb Jeffery, Maureen Munden, Margarethe Vanderpas, Mark Nadjiwan, Craig Frohlich, David Saunders, Lin Souliere, & Margaret Kelch.
MERCHANTS: Atlantis Esthetics & Spa, Happy Hearts Tent & Trailer Park, Birgit’s Café, Bare Birch, Josies Fashions, The Shops at 84 Main, Peninsula Pet Supplies, Scotts Home Hardware, Tobermory Brewing Company &; Grill, Bayshore Country Feeds, Forty Hills Farm & Flowers, Fierce Deer, Logan’s Southampton Store, Southampton Olive Oil Company, Bennett’s Great Canadian Dollarstore, Georgian Bay Soapworks, & Gleason Brook Pottery.
INDIVIDUAL DONORS: Mike Campbell, Caeli Mazara, Michael Warkentin, Katherine McLeod, Glen Estill, Pat Sein, Elizabeth Thorn & many others who have supported us along the way.
D-Day Drainage Meeting
On Wednesday, March 29th the Biosphere Association invites farmers on the Northern Bruce Peninsula to learn about drainage options on the Peninsula and beyond. The day will start at 9:30 am and end at 2:30 pm. Discussions surround the Farm Drainage Act and its implications, trends in farm drainage, controlled drainage options, agricultural drones, drainage on the North Bruce Peninsula, and an update on the Biosphere’s recent work. A delicious lunch will be provided by Bear Tracks Inn & Restaurant If you are interested in attending email John Rodgers at email@example.com.
New Hire: Operations Manager
The Biosphere Association is happy to announce that Rick Roman has been hired as the Operations Manager, a vital position. We are so happy to have Rick on our team.
Rick has lived on the Saugeen Bruce Peninsula for over 30 years with his partner Wendy. Together they built the log house that they live in from the surrounding forest and raised two daughters in this very special place. Rick's passion for the natural world has led him down the path of "green" sustainable builder and instructor, local environmentalist, and outdoor interpretive guide. Rick has been working for the Biosphere Association for the last ten years in a number of roles, including as webmaster, in IT, communications and for the EcoAdventures Program.
The Biosphere Association is always looking for new volunteers. We have a variety of ways you can help. Some of these include: helping at Bayside Astronomy, planting seeds and trees, researching ideas for new projects as well as many more. We are always happy to have all the helpers we can. If interested, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org