- In a few words, What do Volunteers do at Frontenac Park?
- Who Are Volunteer Guides?
- Why Are Guides Needed?
- What Do Volunteer Guides Do?
- Who Can Be A Volunteer Guide?
- Is There Training?
- How Much Time Do I Have To Spend If I Volunteer?
- What If I Am Interested In Helping At The Park, But Do Not Wish To Hike Regularly?
- Are There Other Volunteer Programmes?
- Who Do I Contact For Further Information?
- Volunteer Guides:
- Trail Work:
- Check the condition of trails and portages
- Remove minor blockages on the trails
- Locate and report major problems so that work crews can be targeted effectively
- Check on the conditions of campsites, undertake minor maintenance
- Check and maintain signs and trail markers
- Removal of litter and collection of recovered lost property
- Public Relations:
- Talk with visitors, provide information, answer questions and advise of Park rules
- Promote Park services and facilities
- Note and report complaints or difficulties
- Promote safe and responsible use of the Park
- Volunteer Hosts:
- Assist at the Park Office to introduce the Park to visitors, to inform about its nature, interior travel options and to answer questions
- Other Volunteer Work:
- Ministry of Natural Resources Volunteers undertake specific jobs under the direction of Park staff
- The Friends can use volunteers for other functions in its operations: publicity, newsletter publication, presentations, fund-raising, guidebook research and development and attending Parks booths and displays
The Volunteer Guides are members of the Friends of Frontenac Park Co-operating Association, which operates collaboratively with Parks Ontario. Volunteer Guides are regular visitors to the Park who assist the activities of full-time staff while hiking in the Park. The programme started in 1992, and has grown considerably since then. Well over a thousand hours of volunteer time are provided annually.
Frontenac Park covers a large area - seventy-one square kilometres - of principally wilderness terrain. It has 100 km of trails and numerous portages, plus 48 interior campsites. There is a very small permanent staff, which is supplemented by seasonal help. Resources are budget dependent, and are ever-shrinking. Volunteer Guides assist Park operations by dealing with minor maintenance needs and locating major problems so that the efforts of full-time staff can be focused where needed. They also perform a valuable service in public relations by talking to visitors on the trail or at their campsites.
Quite simply, they act as an extension of the eyes and ears of the regular Park staff, in addition to performing minor trail maintenance. They inform visitors about the Park, its special features, hiking and canoeing opportunities and the Wilderness Skills Programmes-and they relay visitor comments back to the staff. By maintaining trails, reporting needs for major work, and talking with visitors, they promote safer, sounder and more informed use of the Park.
Any member of the Friends of Frontenac Park can become a Volunteer Guide. You must be willing to volunteer time to visit the Park during the summer months especially, though the Guides operate all year round. Familiarity with the Park is an asset, though it can be acquired through participation. You must be comfortable with passing on knowledge about the Park to visitors.
A training session is offered by Park staff and Friends each April for new Volunteers. Those becoming interested later in the year can be accommodated until full training by pairing with an existing Volunteer Guide and learning from them for a few outings. The training provides instruction on the essential information about the Park, its history, natural history, services and regulations, plus guidance on public relations and Park services, followed by an on-trail session explaining the requirements for proper trail maintenance and safety.
That is up to the individual, though volunteers typically visit seven to ten days over the summer. Scheduling is on an informal basis.
The Friends has another project - the Volunteer Host Programme. Volunteer Hosts help in and around Frontenac Park Park Office. They assist the regular staff by taking time to provide visitors with information about the Park:
- its geographical and ecological significance
- its natural history and wildlife
- the human history of the area
- tripping options-starting points, parking, suggested hiking, canoeing or ski routes
- camping-site locations, layout, the registration procedure
- basic precautions regarding food, drinking water and wildlife
- preparedness for day hikers-sun protection, drinking water, footwear
- show the introductory slide presentation or films
- introduce and explain Park Office facilities-library and displays
- advise of nearby local facilities-such as equipment rentals, beaches accommodation and stores
- assist with trip planning for interior campers and day trippers
- advise Park visitors of the required permits, basic rules and regulations
- answer questions
In addition to the Friends' Volunteer Guide and Host Programmes, the Ministry of Natural Resources accepts volunteers to work in the Park under the direction of Ministry staff. This type of work may be specific construction projects, assisting in staff enforcement patrols or campsite maintenance.
If you want to know more or are interested in assisting with any of the volunteer programmes at Frontenac Park, please contact:
The Friends of Frontenac Park,
P.O. Box 2237,
Ontario K7L 5J9
or leave a message with the office at Frontenac Park (613)-376-3489.