Successful and seasoned environmentalists do the sensible thing: they take a Walk for Water

August 15, 2015

Want to know the secret to stop a massive limestone quarry and an industrial garbage complex atop the world’s purest water?

Just ask Danny Beaton and Dr. John Bacher:

  1. Take a stand, and
  2. do something sensible like, Walk for Water 2015.

Danny and John were key advisors to me for the remarkable rescue of Springwater Park by Beausoleil First Nation.

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With serious social justice causes, I write on the internet to influence the powerful stakeholders.

February 20, 2015

My Midhurst neighbours may think I am writing about Springwater Park at SpringwaterParkcc.org for the “average Joe”.

Traffic SpringwaterParkcc

I don’t mind anyone reading what I write but my primary literary target has always been the Province of Ontario.

I told the rest of the members of the Springwater Park Citizens’ Coalition that I would quit as their president after 6 months. My job was to identify, scan, and get the legitimate, constitutional powers at the same table which (I hoped) would result in keeping Springwater Park green for the next seven generations and more.

I started doing the research in Oct 2012, and then the nine-month long First Nations occupation started April 1, 2013.

Any resolution will be based on a nation-to-nation negotiation based on Canadian LEGAL realities not some white-mans’ guilt or charity or political correctness. That we’ve come this far is a great testament to the maturity, grace and intelligence of those working together to keep this land sacred.

It’s a great story; a story that our grand kids will re-tell with justifiable pride.

 


The Forest Rangers was a big hit on CBC TV when I was a kid.

February 12, 2015

I dreamed of having that type of extended family.

Forest rangers

The Forest Rangers, 1963

Forest rangers 40

The Forest Rangers, 2004

Opening credits video.


I look forward to 2015 as being the year that Springwater Park gets put back into caring hands.

January 15, 2015

Why wait? Come on out and enjoy the winter at the park.

Snow clear 93

The Springwater News columnist Kathy Stunden-Hall wrote a nice article called The Future of Springwater Parkpdf

Once again we enjoyed taking the dogs for a walk in Springwater Park. We went there last Sunday and were pleased to see lots of people using this wonderful park.

I am sure it’s thanks to the efforts of volunteers that there are plowed trails to walk on. There are also lots of snowshoe and cross-country ski trails. I was even able to kick snow out of the way to use the portable toilet. To my surprise it was equipped with lots of toilet paper so someone out there is looking after keeping it stocked up.

Kathy makes a good point about keeping the park in mind when you contribute to the Springwater Township’s review of their Parks and Recreation Master Plan:

Our community could make even more of this park if given the chance. Mark already mentioned the need for preserving the park in a survey he filled out for the Township of Springwater’s Park and Recreation Master Plan. If you visit the website at springwater.ca/prmasterplan you can complete the recreation survey and tell about your household’s recreation activities, needs, priorities and opinions.

If you’d like to review the May 2005 Master Plan, click here.

 


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.

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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.


The Margaret Atwood anti-sprawl Midhurst petition challenge is shattered!!

March 30, 2014

It will be a pleasure to welcome Ms. Atwood and perhaps some of her friends to our nearly 200 year old community.

MCC SPCC sign 1

Midhurst Community Hall, Midhurst Ratepayers’ Association Annual General Meeting, January 26, 2014.

The cancer-like urban sprawl plan threatens farmland, the Minesing Wetlands,  Springwater Park, forced hook-ups for sewer and water for all Midhurst and out-of-sight tax bills for all Springwater Township residents for decades into the future.

As reported by AWARE Simcoe on March 26th, Yes! Midhurst petiton tops 5.000:

Final push joined by Atwood in Twitter feed
Today, the 5,000th person signed the petition to save the village of Midhurst (population 3,500), preserve the 756 hectares of surrounding farmland and stop the proposed effluent discharge into the Willow Creek and the internationally treasured Minesing Wetlands.

And the count of those opposed to the Midhurst Secondary Plan, which would expand the Midhurst population to 28,000, continues to rise.

The final Twitter push from Save Midhurst Now proclaiming that only 13 signatures were needed was re-tweeted in the early hours today by author Margaret Atwood, who has pledged to visit Midhurst and do a workshop at a nearby high school if 5,000 people sign the petition.

The Midhurst residents’ group has unveiled a new video and song in support of the cause. Click here to view it.

Sign the petition

Congratulations to everyone, especially Margaret Prophet and all her crack public relations associates at the Midhurst Ratepayers’ Association.

Posted on FranchiseFool.com and iLoveMidhurst.ca.


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