Welcome to the GNS web page! It is under construction. Please email corrections, suggestions, and new material (photos as jpeg attachments; under 200K, please; please date event and identify people if you can) to Tim. (For the moment, though, aesthetics take second place to content.)
Bienvenu au site SNG! Il est en construction. SVP envoyer par courriel des corrections, suggestions et du nouveau matériel (les photos comme attachements jpeg, toujours moins de 200KO svp, et svp identifier le gens et les dates d'événements si vous le pouvez) au Tim. (Pour l'instant, cependant, l'esthétique prend la deuxième place au contenu.)

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 at 11:30).

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!

Tim Merrett