Harbourfest 2019 Sinkers Conference

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!

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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.

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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.


Outdoor Education

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.

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PDHS Field Day

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.

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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..


Open House 2019

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.

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Fall Dinner

On Nov. 24, FOPE held its 5th annual dinner. It was different because it was in the fall, it was at the beautiful Peace Hall, lots of it was donated or borrowed and it was served by our members. Overall it raised $2355 for this year - but most of all, it was fun!

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Getting ready was slightly compromised by the snow. And it was supposed to be a FALL dinner!

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After a major gallop downstairs, the good people of Pugwash settled in to the main event - roast beef, yorkshire pudding and the rest. It was delicious.

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The food was dispatched; the wonderful creme brulee acknowledged, and it came time for speeches. First, Sarah led us in a rousing chorus of Happy Birthday for our host, John. Then Betty reviewed the work of FOPE over the past year - a year where we had to put together the pieces again. She started to work her way into the mergansor ducks, but caught herself and went through the thanks. Especially to our wonderful chefs, Bill Chadwick and Stephen Huston. Finally, the paddle draw and the winner was Kathy Vance a Torontonian with ties to Cape Cliff Road. She was pretty delighted to get that email.

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Stephen and Dennice Leahey were this year’s winners of the lifetime membership award - well deserved given all the time and energy they have put into this organization.

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Stuff was cleaned up with many thanks to those who stayed and came the next day to finish it off. Thanks for coming everyone.

See you next year

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Fall Flotilla 2018

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Oct. 13, 2018 - Some of us hiked and some of us paddled. We started out together with Betty outlining the day. Mike led the hikers; Margie showed the paddlers where to go.

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There were 13 hikers and 13 paddlers. The colours for both were spectacular and every now and then, the sun did poke through. For the paddlers, the water was completely smooth - no wind. Thoroughly delightful.

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Back at the FOPE house, we compared stories of adventures. Lina had a great one to tell.

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Tom provided the food; Ed was our master chef - and then there was Barb’s cake.

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Another successful flotilla. Here Betty and Mike hold the paddle which will be raffled off at the FOPE Celebration Dinner on November 24. Thank you Jim Faulice for donating it. It is a beauty!!

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Fall Bird Count

The FOPE Fall Migratory Bird Count was a great success. Assisted by Amy-Lee Kauwenberg from Bird Studies Canada, 46 species of birds were identified totalling 1968 or nearly 2000 birds. Flocks of mergansers, Canada geese, and starlings numbered into the hundreds; 82 great blue herons were spotted within our observation circle. Although most shore birds have migrated to the south, a small group of semipalmated plovers, several greater yellowlegs and a spotted sandpiper were seen.

This semipalmated plover was spotted during the bird count.

This semipalmated plover was spotted during the bird count.