Top 10 viewed posts on so far.

October 23, 2013

What are the most popular articles on this weblog?

Top 10 Posts viewed and when they were written

    1. Friends of Springwater Provincial Park: their financial record, Nov 28, 2012.
    2. Cat’s-paw: a pawn or dupe, Dec 2, 2012.
    3. Any community groups that are sucking up to the MNR when Springwater Park ownership is under question, are helping provoke a confrontation., May 12, 2013.
    4. Who is responsible for the sand blasting, damage and repair of the circa 1929 Vespra Boys cenotaph at Springwater Park – Camp Nibi?, Oct 15, 2013.
    5. Idle No More in Barrie: Flash Mob Round Dance, Georgian Mall Barrie, ON, Boxing Day, 2 pm., Dec 23, 2012.
    6. The Fraud Triangle by Dr. David Cressey, Dec 12, 2012.
    7. How deep is Ian Taylor’s understanding of First Nations nation-to-nation Treaty Rights and Springwater Park – Camp Nibi?, May 12, 2013.
    8. Simcoe County politicians could finance the Springwater Park “losses” for almost 150 years, if they wanted to, Dec 31, 2012.
    9. Are the 31,000 acres of Simcoe County Forest really The Lungs of Barrie?, Oct 24, 2012.
    10. Sunnidale Park in Barrie should be a model for protecting Springwater Provincial Park from being sold, Mar 14, 2013.

October 23, 2012 to October 23, 2013.


To protect 193 ha. from development, is it really necessary for the ladies to freeze this winter?

September 6, 2013

“We all want to see this land taken care of.”

Kim Beth

Kim Rose left, and Elizabeth Brass Elson are working to help grow a native healing centre at Springwater Park Laurie Watt

There have been 153 days from April 1 to September 15, 2013.

  • 153 days to figure out a way to keep the 15 kms. of cross-country ski and snow shoe trails cleared, groomed and open this winter,
  • 153 days to renew the contract for snow removal on the roads in the park,
  • 153 days to winterize the cabin and deal with the mold, and
  • 153 days to have a place to change a diaper out of the cold (ie. open the comfort station for goodness sake).

Laurie Watt from the Barrie Advance asks an important question in today’s article, Aboriginal camp prepares for winter in Springwater: Is it necessary for the ladies to endure a full winter camping?

Brass Elson said she already feels the cool winds of fall and relit the fire in the cabin Tuesday. She plans to stay through the winter and continues to talk with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Parks Ontario.

“We all want to see this land be taken care of,” she added.

And what’s so special about Springwater Park – Camp Nibi?

Brass Elson, an initiate at the Midewan Three Fires Lodge, has brought in an elder to bless the land and the growing community that unites people of many aboriginal heritages.

“This is a place where there’s a lot of different First Nations, rich in history, because it’s such a beautiful, spiritual place,” said Brass Elson.

“The man who designed this (park) said it should be a template for forestry in Ontario. His energy is still here. He started the tree nursery and his vision lives. It’s a shame the Ministry (of Natural Resources) doesn’t want to sustain it. This land has lots of offer everybody.”

NOTE: The flag behind Kim and Beth is the only Canadian or Ontario flag at the park anymore.

The ladies hung them up last Saturday along with a few others at the main pavilion.

Flag 1These are the Anishinabe Nation,  United Nations and Haudenosaunee Nation flags (l to r).

Flag 3

Ontario deserves a stand-alone Forestry Museum in Midhurst.

August 9, 2013

And Springwater Park – Camp Nibi is the ideal spot to locate to commemorate two founding fathers of provincial environmentalism.

Drury zavitz a

Former Premier E.C. Drury (l., 1878-1968) and Dr. Edmund Zavitz (1875-1968) worked tirelessly over decade to create a process that resulted in 2 billion trees being planted in Ontario. Our province has an internationally-recognized natural and human resource of skilled foresters, country forests and tree “farmers”.

Mr. Gord Miller the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario says we need one more billion trees to get to the recommended 30 per cent tree coverage for southern Ontario.

Let’s recognize these early water protectors not just with two life-sized bronze statues but with a provincial Forestry Museum that will tell the story of material world redemption. British Columbia has one, btw.

At the same time, let’s also work re-establishing public assets such as the Midhurst Forest Station which produced 8 to 10 million seedlings annually. It’s never too late to correct a +20 year mistake when the tree nursery system was dismantled.

Image courtesy of Mr. Ed Borczon, RPF and Dr. Bacher, Two Billion Trees and Counting: The Legacy of Edmund Zavitz, 2011, p. 119.

Dr. John Bacher adds a much-needed perspective to the squandering of Springwater Park’s heritage

March 14, 2013

Free lecture tonight: Dr. John Bacher, Huronia Room, 2nd Floor, Barrie City Hall, 7:30 pm, March 14th.

Bacher University College

Dr. Bacher spoke at University College, University of Toronto on January 17, 2013.

Cheryl Browne writes for the Barrie Examiner today about tonight’s talk and Friday’s park tour in Group will be touring Springwater Park on Friday:

“Springwater Park used to be a bleak and barren landscape, made up of mostly sand,” Bacher said. “The park was created as a demonstration of what could be done with a wasteland.”

In 2011, Bacher and his wife biked from the Agricultural College at Guelph University to former premier Ernest Charles Drury’s farm — who was Ontario’s provincial leader from 1919 to 1923 — in Crown Hill. Their ride mirrored the path Ontario Forester Edmond Zavitz travelled in 1905 to persuade politicians, like Drury, to develop a strategy for reforesting the province.

Bacher said Zavitz’s ride began the One Billion Trees drive, when the province grew its forested land from only 8% to 20%.

“Springwater Park is the sort of inspiration that causes other people to do reforestation in other places, such as Grey County and Dufferin County,” he said.

Dr. Bacher will be addressing the joint meeting of the Barrie Historical Association and the Simcoe County Historical Association.

And at the end of the article:

MNR officials have said no part of the park will be sold.

Two Billion Trees

A great response at Zehrs on Big Bay Point Road and Yonge Street. Barrie

February 17, 2013

We were there for Friday and Saturday, 11 to 6 pm.


I was so busy, I wasn’t able to properly set the table up for 1.5 hours.


Lots of questions.


The Vespra Boys cenotaph.P1060496

It’s great to show how the +32,000 acres of Simcoe County forests and MNR crown lands are right in play.


Thanks to Jim, Charlie and all our volunteers.


And thanks to Zehrs staff and managers.

If you know of anywhere else we should set up, just let me know at

A Real Estate relay race: The MNR, County of Simcoe and Springwater Township

February 16, 2013

It takes co-ordination, skill and hard work to disguise a +3,000 acre development in Midhurst from the electorate.Relay race

1. Springwater Township did the rezoning to allow the Midhurst Secondary Plan plus the sale of +3,000 acres of Simcoe Forests (green areas) and provincial crown land (yellow areas, Plan++).

Springwater land use 11

2. The County approved the Plan ++ in violation of all provincial growth laws.

3. The MNR closes Springwater Park because the developers don’t want a wildlife sanctuary near their new, massive development of new homes. Removing the animals is a condition of sale.

County and MNR officials sell our forested land at a much higher price per acre and retire.

Goldhawk Fights Back radio recording about the Springwater Provincial Park closing near Barrie, Ontario

February 1, 2013

Goldhawk Fights Back

For those that missed the live radio broadcast this Wednesday in the GTA, southwestern and central Ontario, here it is.

Goldhawk podcast 1

Click here to go to the page and CLICK on the left of little bar.

Goldhawk podcast 3

Right here: click on the triangle to play the radio recording.

Goldhawk podcast triangle

Transcript Index

Time (minute:second) & Issue

  • 00:25 Simcoe County, Dumpsite 41
  • 01:00 Springwater Park: 107 years old, last animal sanctuary in park system, nationally-registered Vespra Boys cenotaph, 13 km of cross-country ski trails, 1.5 km of show shoeing trails
  • 01:30 park is well-used (especially in winter), close to Barrie, a quickly-growing city
  • 02:27 honour system for payment does not work, automatic payment gate has been broken for 4 years
  • 03:17 consequences of closing park: trails, veterans, animals
  • 03:43 animal sanctuary: Furley the black bear, Chrissy the white wolf, enclosures could be more modern
  • 04:43 say they need $1 million in capital, MNR only spent $1,500 in 2008, designed to fail?
  • 05:45 spend pennies on outdoor activity or big $ on acute health care, duty to permanently protect the park, 3 of 10 affected parks have a deal
  • 09:13 can’t recall a provincial park being closed in 45 years of being a journalist
  • 10:12 MNR promises they won’t sell the land for development, requirement to consult with First Nations, maintain parks for future generations
  • 16:20 Springwater Township and Simcoe County: +$400 million accumulated surplus, the lungs of Ontario, could create a new “High Park”
  • 18:30 CALLER 1 is Gerry from Toronto
  • 19:40 $230 to 240,000 in total annual expenses, God is in the details
  • 20:09 CALLER 2 is Aida from Mississauga: horse riding, picnics, Mabel Wattie, too precious to lose
  • 21:45 Midhurst Forest Station established in 1922, only took 50 years to clear-cut county, turn around environmental destruction, blowsand, staffing on weekends
  • 24:19 CALLER 3 is Mel from Coldwater: since 1858, educational value, museum and park, planted trees in 1967, growth in Barrie, local wildlife education, ridiculous, county surplus
  • 26:03 Simcoe County: staff report due on Feb 14th, 31,000 acres of forests, best forestry program in Ontario
  • 27:35 Midhurst Secondary Plan: wastewater treatment plant is planned to be immediately south of park
  • 27:52 CALLER 4 is Norm from Mississauga: example of northern provincial park being converted to municipal park, Springwater was a municipal park from 1922 to 1957
  • 29:12 CALLER 5 is Diane from London: Pickering airport lands, Dr. John Bacher, Dumpsite 41, network with existing groups
  • 30.59 Ask for the Minister of Natural Resources to take a closer look at the numbers
  • 31:42 CALLER 6 is Brenda from Barrie: a travesty, fast-growing Barrie, next steps?, report research findings to community, work with groups (faith, service, etc.), set up a foundation to assist Township and County: retain, restore and renew (if given time)
  • 33:38 Dale promised to call county warden to talk about Springwater Park

Click here to download a pdf of the Transcript Index.

Thanks Dale,  Mary and AM740 Zoomer radio.

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