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.

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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.

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.


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.


Springwater Township ponies up $10,000 to help re-imagine Springwater Park – Camp Nibi

February 21, 2014

An economically sustainable plan is what has always been needed.

Honour treaties park 20131226

It is appropriate that a 177 year old municipal township gets the ball rolling in welcoming back our 10,000 year old neighbours for what will become an internationally-important, cross-cultural treasure.

From today’s print edition of the Barrie Examiner by Cheryl Browne, Money possible to help Springwater Park pdf:

SPRINGWATER TWP. – The gates of Springwater Provincial Park may be pushed a little more open as council sets aside $10,000 for its re-opening this year.

Although the park remains technically locked up, Springwater Township council has voted yes to Coun. Sandy McConkey’s motion to set aside $10,000 to help re-open the provincial park that’s been in limbo since the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) changed its status to non-operational last year.

“I can’t say how the money will be used,” said McConkey, Thursday. “We just want to be able to have access to it in case the user groups need it.”

Coun. Jack Hanna, who also voted in favour of the motion, said the money would be set aside from the economic development fund, but won’t be approved until the township’s budget receives final approval Feb. 25.

“I know negotiations are ongoing with the MNR and First Nations who are considering making it a training centre,” he said, but added he doesn’t know the current status of the talks.

After 107 years in operation, the 193-hectare day-use park’s status was unclear last year after the MNR locked the gates. The 29 orphaned animals that were receiving care in the park were removed and sent to other wildlife sanctuaries across Canada.

Elizabeth Brass Elson and several other First Nations people quietly moved in to occupy the park in early April and remained there for the duration of the year, leaving just days before Christmas 2013.

Brass Elson named their campground Camp Nibi – the native word for fresh or spring water – and ran instructional classes on native culture, sweat lodges and full moon ceremonies, which continue monthly.

The also cleaned up after walk-in only visitors and called police when teenagers started fires and vandalized buildings.

Talks with the MNR and Beausoleil First Nation continued, and in December, Brass Elson said they were assured they would be given a voice in the planning and development of the park lands for the continued use of all.

“We were told we would be in a partnership with the MNR,” said Brass Elson. “It was a shaking-hands deal with Beausoleil council. I was told to stand down and go home and warm up, so I did.”

Although the gates have been chained shut since last April, Les Stewart of the Springwater Park Citizens’ Coalition said dozens of people took to the trails on Family Day.

“People are still enjoying it, so councillors setting aside some money for its re-opening is a positive step forward,” Stewart said.

Mayor Linda Collins, who voted against setting the money aside, confirmed if the budget passes, it would go towards the re-opening of the park this year.

“Nothing is determined yet. I’m not opposed to nurturing Springwater, but the County of Simcoe is taking the lead there, frankly because they have the bigger purse,” Collins said.

She says the county has been assisting the township by hosting meetings between the First Nations and the MNR.

“We’re not a big enough player so we need to join hands with the County of Simcoe,” she said.

Spokesperson for the MNR, Jolanta Kowalski, wrote in an e-mail ‘the ministry is pleased to be working with Beausoleil First Nation to discuss a future partnership for the operation of Springwater Provincial Park.’

Kowalski also wrote that ‘the ministry is not considering selling Springwater Provincial Park. Maintaining public ownership keeps the park regulated under the Provincial Park and Conservation Reserves Act and ensures this land is protected for future generations.

Brass Elson said she and several First Nations friends will go the park for an anniversary ceremonial sleep-over April 1.

“It will be nice to spend some time in the park again.”

cheryl.browne@sunmedia.ca
Twitter.com/cherylbrowne1

Come on out.

Sun park vertical 20140228 2

It’s about the land.

Sun Park 20131210It’s about the water.

Park spring

It’s about time for spring, I’d say.

Please distribute.

UPDATE:

The $10,000 budget was approved on Feb 25th. Thanks to those on Council who voted for it (4 “yeahs”, 2 “nays”). This amount represents about 0.04% of the township’s 2014 operating budget.

Proportionally, the County of Simcoe should be in the $161,200 range. Annually.


Effective community organizers follow Alinsky’s playbook, Rules for Radicals

February 13, 2014

The road to hell is paved with the best of intentions and there is nothing more dangerous than sincere ignorance.

rules for radicals

Rules for Radicals

  1. Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have. Power is derived from 2 main sources – money and people. “Have-Nots” must build power from flesh and blood.
  2. Never go outside the expertise of your people. It results in confusion, fear and retreat. Feeling secure adds to the backbone of anyone.
  3. Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy. Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty.
  4. Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules. If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules.
  5. Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions.
  6. A good tactic is one your people enjoy. They’ll keep doing it without urging and come back to do more. They’re doing their thing, and will even suggest better ones.
  7. A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag. Don’t become old news.
  8. Keep the pressure on. Never let up. Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new.
  9. The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself. Imagination and ego can dream up many more consequences than any activist.
  10. If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive. Violence from the other side can win the public to your side because the public sympathizes with the underdog.
  11. The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative. Never let the enemy score points because you’re caught without a solution to the problem.
  12. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.

Saul Alinsky (1909 – 1972) was an American community organizer and writer. He is generally considered to be the founder of modern community organizing, and has been compared to Thomas Paine as being “one of the great American leaders of the nonsocialist left.” He is often noted for his book Rules for Radicals.

The ninth rule of the ethics of means and ends is that any effective means is automatically judged by the opposition as being unethical. Alinsky

Posted on iLoveMidhurst.ca and voteLesStewart.ca.


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