FOPE once again led the Fall Migratory Bird Count for North Cumberland County on September 28th. We identified 1281 birds from 47 species. The most unexpected sighting was a snow goose at Pugwash Point, they don't usually migrate east of Quebec and there were still warblers around as well as lots of shorebirds. There were 238 Canada geese in the Pugwash Basin when we counted.
Betty Hodgson - Community Leader
Betty’s commitment to volunteering goes back to growing up in a farming community where everyone did everything in order for events and progress to happen.
During Betty’s career as a nurse, she volunteered as much as her job and family commitment allowed. Along with her husband, the environment was always a major focus. Betty moved to the Gulf Shore after retiring from nursing, wanting to become involved in the community in order to meet people. Joining the Friends of the Pugwash Estuary, Pugwash Ground Search and Rescue and the Northumberland Community Curling Club filled her passion regarding the environment, being outdoors and a need to be productive and social.
In the seven years she has lived on the Golf Shore, she has come to appreciate the strengths she constantly sees in this area. People have been very kind and welcoming. There is such a wealth of talent, exemplified by groups like the Ramsheg Hookers, who’s members share so much of themselves.
While Betty says that she came to this area by chance, it became just the perfect fit for her in the end.
Fostering a Passion for the Environment!
August 17, 2019 - a picture-perfect day for a flotilla. Build it and they will come - and they did. This year we had over 50 participants in canoes and kayaks - more than ever before.
There is more to building a cardboard boat than one would think. First you have to get the cardboard (thanks Maureen), have a dry bug-free area, and all the tools. It also helps to have two students working with you.
From such humble beginnings a mighty craft was born - the F.O.P.E. HMCS Quackgrass.
It was deemed a bit heavy, but that just gave it stability. Louise was actually saying it would never float!
Unlike last year’s attempt, this one actually knew it was a boat - much to the relief of Catlin and Kayla, her crew. It not only floated, but won the first heat.
Things were going well in the second heat until an enterprising but annoying child broke Kayla’s paddle. This left us limping in with only one wing.
Overall, the boat came in fourth - a new PB for us. And It won the overall last heat.
The builders were very proud.
July 1, 2019 - It was cold and wet, but we were there. Our float won second prize. Well done to Catlin, Kayla, Betty and Sarah.
On June 4, 2019 teachers Ms Black & Mr MacDonald brought 40 students from PDHS to hike the Peace Trail. First Nations Elders Emile Gautreau and Louise Goodwin, along with FOPE volunteers and their two summer students provided an experience of Aboriginal Ceremonies and Hiking Appreciation. Everyone had lunch out on the Trail, maneuvered over the mud, and endured the black-flies.
May 29th - 37 PDHS students and teacher Mrs. Scallion visited the estuary house for a field day. Activities included a hike, tree aging, plant identification and a scavenger hunt. Students learned to measure the pH, flow, temperature and turbidity of the water as well as the temperature and pH of the soil.
May - Our summer student hires have been doing a lot of cleaning up around the FOPE properties and trails. Our boat, which has been in 2 places for a number of years, has been restored and resurrected thanks to their work. Ralph has written a song for it.
Feb. 24, 2019 - This year’s AGM started with a hike and a light lunch. There were 28 people who attended. Two new directors were named: Dean Hunter and Natalie Coady. Louise and Werner Van Thielen were awarded life memberships. After the business meeting, Allan Beck from the Clean Foundation spoke on the salt marshes and coastal restoration. Mary Jamieson donated a pair of knitted mittens, and they were won by Theresa Rushton..
April 28, 2019 - We had a good turnout for this year’s open house. Amy Tizzard, Geologist from Natural Resources gave a talk and showed a few maps. Interesting to see where the shafts are for the salt mine. She is studying the sink hole in Oxford right now and told us a bit about that. The kids looked for signs of spring with Betty.