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President's Report 2009 / Rapport du président 2009
We have had a very full year of GNS events, both special and regular. The
year started most successfully with Louise Abbott and Niels Jensen's multimedia
presentation of their visits to the James' Bay Cree and participation in a
commemorative trapline walk. We delighted in their eloquence and superb
photography and we all came away appreciating more the traditions and technical
challenges of northern life.
Tom Kovacs will kick off this year on Nov 28 with a stimulating talk and slide
show on "The National Parks of Croatia and Macedonia - Examples of two Systems
in Early Development." Tom spent close to 30 years with Parks Canada and at one
point acted as Superintendent at Point Pelee National Park and at the Rideau
National Historic Waterway, now a UNESCO cultural World Heritage Site. Since
retiring, Tom has consulted internationally for 10 years in Protected Areas
Planning and Management in about 10 countries.
The Peter Landry Audubon Christmas Bird Count will be held Dec. 28 this year, a
Monday, with a bad-weather fallback the next day. Weather was a problem last
year and although we covered our territory well with only nine birders we hope
to do better this year. The Count joins others across the continent at that
time to supply the Audubon Society with important data on the health of our
ecosystems. If you want to help monitor climate change, join us! Even if you
can only identify a few birds at your feeder, this is an important contribution.
Ski Day brought out 57 skiers including Ian and Annie Scott, Joe Evenson,
Ed Markwell and John Logan who each won a classic John Boynton Ski Bird medal
for various acts of endurance and distinction. We shared another sumptuous
Nancy Amos dinner with the family and friends who supported us.
Ski Day 2010 will be on Sat. Feb. 6 and we look forward to seeing you there.
We held three family fun skis in January, February and March, and five nature
walks in May, June, September and October.
The fun skis are morning outings in unchallenging conditions, followed by a
soup-and-roll lunch at the Hall. Last winter they were hosted by Nicole and
Jean-Pierre Lefebvre, Barbara Wolf and Fran Williams, and by Francine and Ed
Markwell standing in for Mary Ann and Tim Merrett.
Our nature walks included some old favourites - Katevale Marsh in May and the
Cherry river boardwalk in September - and three new adventures. Charlie
Straessle kindly allowed us to take our spring flower walk through his woods.
Bill Eakin organised our June walk on Long Island, Nature Conservancy land,
launching from Robbie Colby's dock. We are grateful for Bill's succesful
efforts, for Nature Conservancy permission, and for Robbie's hospitality in
inviting us to picnic by his dock before embarking. Finally, our Thanksgiving
walk found wild turkeys on Brown's Hill, a road walk for a change.
Tentative dates for 2010 are: Family fun skis on Jan 23 and Feb 27; Nature walks
on May 15, June 26 and on the two long weekends Sep 4 and Oct 9. Check the
Community association calendar when it comes out! We meet at Murray Memorial
Hall on Saturdays at 10 a.m. (with one exception, the June walk, which is Sunday
GNS drove a float in the Canada Day parade again this year, fortunately roofed
with a tarpaulin against the rain. Thanks to Eric Evans for hauling us, to
Mary Ann Mongeau for the papier-mache Ski Bird specified by John Boynton, to
Sally and Hugh Scott for birds on sticks, to Tony Straessle for the trailer,
and to Ed Markwell for organising and assembling it all. Other hardy riders on
the float included Ian and Annie Scott and Betty and David Stanger. Not everyone
avoided getting drenched.
It is still too early for even me to be talking snow, but we are looking forward
to another good winter. We will be clearing trails again before and after
hunting season - before while the weather is pleasant and after to clear the
windfalls since before. Ed Markwell will be seeking volunteers to help us.
Our GNS executive has been as always a pleasure to work with. All have
contributed generously of their time and resources, above and beyond those
mentioned specifically here. It is a privilege, as well as a pleasure, to
associate with all of them.
This newsletter includes membership and waiver forms for your continuing
membership. Please fill and return them early and think about who else might
like to join (or re-join) GNS, especially among the younger generations.
I hope to see you at many GNS activities this year!