Springwater Park contributes to students’ growth during Eduction Week and Mental Health Week

May 5, 2017

Being on the land promotes physical, mental and spiritual wholeness.

Barrie North Collegiate teacher Andrew Clark watches student Will Barry tackle the slack line during the school’s wellness day at Springwater Provincial Park on Wednesday, held in conjunction with Education Week and Mental Health Week. Beausoleil First Nations, which operates the park in partnership with Ontario Parks, also had representatives offering various sessions.

Ian McInroy of the Barrie Examiner writes in Wellness day more than a walk in Springwater Provincial Park:

Students experienced a variety of events that can contribute to positive overall wellness.

Barrie North staff led sessions on activities such as guitar playing and song-writing, Tai Chi, hiking, food and mood, among other things.

“We are also fortunate to have Beausoleil First Nations staff leading a medicine walk, drum circle and other sessions,” said Barrie North vice-principal Peter Bowman, who is part of the wellness team at the Grove Street school.

Beausoleil First Nations have operated Springwater in partnership with Ontario Parks since July 2015.

Bowman said having First Nations representatives take part was important.

“We are here in this part of the world and they were here a long time ago and had a whole bunch of things figured out,” he said. “I think we can learn from that and they are looking at doing some great things here at Springwater (park).”

And what do the students think?

Barrie North student Sam Sampson watched Beausoleil First Nations member Steve Beedie lead a fire-bow demonstration.

“Having First Nations here today is amazing,” she said, after watching fellow student Bree-Anne Bessey coaxing some smoke from the fire bow. “They were here before us. This is their land and we get to learn about their culture.

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Cultural practices have always been an important part of Springwater Park

April 18, 2017

Lots of talk of celebrating 150 years; nice to see a Barrie Advance article covering action to preserve the methods of co-operation:

First Nation, Métis, and Inuit students learn about canoe-building at Springwater Park
Shane MacDonald

Canoe building: A group of about 20 First Nation, Metis, and Inuit secondary students from Barrie, Midland and Beausoleil First Nation learned how to build a traditional birch bark canoe at Springwater Provincial Park over the course of a week. April 13, 2017. Shane MacDonald/Metroland

A group of First Nation, Métis, and Inuit secondary students from Barrie, Midland, and Beausoleil First Nation got a chance to build a traditional birch bark canoe at Springwater Provincial Park over the course of a week.

The students spent four days at the provincial park learning from local artist and Haudenosaunee carver Josy Thomas about building a birch bark canoe, a practice that is being more and more uncommon.

Zak Hajjaoui, a First Nation, Métis, and Intuit student advisor at the Simcoe County District School Board, helped organize the canoe-building project.

“We’re trying to hold on to as much culture as we can,” he said. “The more we hold onto the knowledge, the more we know who we are as a people.”

Most canoe builds like the one the students worked on take two to three weeks. They’re doing it in four days.

It’s no easy task.

“You appreciate how much work our people put in back in the day,” said Shanice Costain, a Grade 11 student from Barrie North Collegiate Institute.

Students said they enjoyed being outside, the hands-on aspect of the build, and meeting new people.

“It’s a chance for me to learn some leadership skills and it’s a chance for me to learn more about who I am,” said Justin Kennedy, a Grade 10 Georgian Bay District Secondary School student.

Thomas, the canoe builder, said the first canoe he ever built was with his grandfather when he was about 12 years old, and he has been building them ever since.

The most important thing he learned building his first canoe?

“Patience,” he said. “The whole entire canoe is just patience.”

He says making a canoe feels good and brings people together.

“I think its important for them to do it because it’s a dying trade,” he said of the students, noting that he knows of only eight other canoe builders in Canada who still make the traditional birch bark canoes. “That’s quite limited. If it’s not carried on, it’s going to disappear.”

Once completed, the plan is to use the canoe for outdoor education at the Simcoe County District School Board.

http://www.simcoe.com/news-story/7242562-first-nation-m-tis-and-inuit-students-learn-about-canoe-building-at-springwater-park/

 


Springwater Park has always been a great place for children.

May 1, 2016

And treasure hunts.

19790615 Hot dog crop

Reproduced from the Barrie Examiner, June 15, 1979.

Caption:

Cathy Peacock, 7, rams a submarine sandwich into her mouth Thursday at the Springwater Provincial Park, outside of Barrie. Cathy, one of the 250 elementary students from John St. School, took part in a treasure hunt organized by her teachers. (Examiner photo by Peter Hsu)


Margaret Atwood talks about these “sinister” Ontario and local politicians?

August 18, 2014

An important warning about the destruction of Wasaga Beach and Georgian Bay.

Atwood admonishment oh boy

Click here for video  or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUDUKDVN27g.

175 views at 5 pm. 20140820

To Do:

  • Click here for information so you can write a hand-written letter to Premier Wynne complaining about this type of unfair propaganda.
  • And here to find out who are the other +44,600 fools who agree with these types of people.

Springwater Park trails, ponds, and playground equipment: all open for public use.

July 17, 2014

A good reminder to come out and enjoy Springwater Park.

Barri

From Laurie Watt and the Barrie Advance, Springwater Park still open for passive use, ministry sayspdf

Ministry of Natural Resources is quoted as saying:

Closed to save money last year, three community groups have been lobbying for the MNR to reopen the park and maintain its trails and washrooms. The Beausoleil First Nation had also occupied the park, but left its camp around Christmas as it began talking with the MNR about a partnership.

Those talks are continuing, ministry spokesman Jolanta Kowalski said.

“We are still in the early stages of planning, with no details ready to be released to the public and no agreement has yet been developed. However, any agreement reached would not grant exclusive use of the park to the Beausoleil First Nation,” she said.

“Springwater Provincial Park is not closed to the pubic and the MNR has no intention of prohibiting residents from enjoying the park. The park is still available to the public for walking, bird-watching and other permitted uses free of charge.”

Jack Garner and Ian Taylor of the Friends of Springwater Park are quoted.


Ministry of Natural Resources “pleased to be working with” Beausoleil First Nations in re-opening Springwater Park.

April 17, 2014
20140417 Stan Howe

Members of the Beausoleil First Nation plan to return to Springwater park this spring. Stan Howe

Laurie Watt in the Barrie Advance reports: MNR talks with native group to re-open Springwater Park

The Ministry of Natural Resources is talking with the Beausoleil First Nation about reopening Springwater Provincial Park as a pair of warring citizens’ groups wait to hear if they’ll be included.

But while the ministry is “pleased to be working with” Beausoleil, the ministry isn’t yet ready to release details on what’s being discussed, ministry spokesperson Jolanta Kowalski said.

As partnership talks began just before Christmas, Camp Nibi — founded by a group led by Elizabeth Brass Elson as an outreach and healing initiative — packed up and left for the winter. Brass Elson plans to restart the group’s activities and ceremonies in the park this spring, although snow still covers the ground in the 193-hectare park that opened in 1927 and was shuttered by the ministry a year ago.

However, things are getting confusing. There are three community groups, two of them (#1 and #2) both claiming control of over $100,000 in community donations while the the third, is waiting for the MNR/Camp Nibi discussions to be completed.

In summary:

  1. Mr. Ian Taylor, Friends of Springwater Park,
  2. Mr. Jack Garner, Springwater Park Foundation who recently seems to have split off from #1, and
  3. Mr. Les Stewart and the Springwater Park Citizens’ Coalition. SPCC split from #1 in Oct 2012.

The SPCC and Advisory Board: Our experience shows it is premature and can be potentially very problematic to raise funds or pledges before the management and ownership issues were first sorted out by between the more senior levels (ie. MNR and First Nations).

The SPCC has sought a sustainable business model.

In our opinion, sustainability can only come primarily from long-term, government-underwritten, publicly-funded budgets which may arise from aboriginal and non-aboriginal sources.

As a simple sign of encouragement toward that partnership, we asked our municipality (Springwater Township) to budget some 2014 $ for the park’s re-opening. Township Council responded generously by providing an allocation of $10,000 which will only be spent if an agreement is reached. Public money does not run nearly as “hot and cold” as does individual or corporate donations do.

Summary: Agreement first (resources will be included in that plan anyway.) Then onto further public and private funding.


Springwater Park – Camp Nibi draws thousands of winter visitors….and +$110,000 in private and public support!

April 10, 2014

The winter is an exceptionally busy time at Springwater Park – Camp Nibi: both inside and out.

Honour treaties park 20131226

In the Barrie Advance, Group raises cash to help reopen Springwater Park:

A year of uncertainty about Springwater Park’s future has sown the seeds — and cash — for meaningful talks on a partnership to reopen the facility.

The Springwater Park Foundation has so far raised $103,000 and it’s putting its cash where its mouth is as it plans talks with the province’s Natural Resources Ministry.

Springwater resident Nancy Bigelow:

Now that the money’s set aside, Springwater Park Foundation chairperson Nancy Bigelow said she’s working to set a date to meet with the ministry. She can tell stories of people who have come to appreciate the park, which the ministry had said was experiencing a drop in visitors.

“You have to walk in, but it’s absolutely gorgeous. There are trails and plenty of people. On the weekends, it’s packed. All through the winter, there were snowshoers and cross-country skiers. It’s been impressive,” Bigelow said.

P1000747

Our Anishinaabe friends continued their ceremonies all winter long:

“There won’t be so many overnight times. We’re not moving back in, but we’ll be doing ceremonies and teaching,” said the group’s Elizabeth Brass Elson. “We’re Camp Nibi and we plan on staying there forever. We haven’t finished our initiative.”

 

Snow clear 93

And finally:

Springwater Park Citizens’ Coalition founder Les Stewart said talks are still ongoing and Springwater Township has set aside $10,000 to help reopen the park if an agreement is reached.

Running for deputy mayor of Springwater, Stewart said he’s keeping a keen eye on the park and efforts to reopen it.

“The park is in great shape and people have been using it all winter. We’re looking forward to an announcement from the MNR,” he said.


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