A Canoe from Algonquin Elder William Commanda

The Friends of Gatineau Park are happy to announce that they have received a unique, once-in-a-lifetime and significant donation, that is a birch bark canoe hand made by Elder William Commanda in 1988. The canoe was given to Dr. Walter G. Waddell by Elder Commanda in recognition of care given by Dr. Waddell in the sixties. The Estate Trustees (Jonathan, Thomas and Alexander), sons of Dr. Waddell, who died in July 2013, offered to give the canoe to the Friends of Gatineau Park last Fall. Working in close cooperation with the NCC throughout this initiative, the canoe was recently transported from a cottage in Lac Ste-Marie to the Visitor Centre in Old Chelsea where this artefact will soon be placed on display by the NCC in the Exhibit area of the Gatineau Park Visitor Centre. Interpretation materials will be prepared to provide background information on this artefact and Elder Commanda, who lived in the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg community and who passed away in August 2011.



Here are additional information on Elder Commanda and Dr. Walter G. Waddell (Source: Wikipedia).

Additional information will be provided later when the birch bark canoe is actually displayed in Exhibit area of the Gatineau Park Visitor Centre.


The Pleasures of Campsite Cookery at Philippe Lake

130815_Fire-and-twilightThe Friends of Gatineau Park are happy to organize a brand new family activity at the Lake Philippe campground and it will be taking place on Saturday, August 16, 2014.  So, you are invited to join us for a special workshop that will certainly spice up your outdoor camping cooking! With Chef Kim Copeland, come out and discover cooking secrets for healthy, inviting and easy to prepare meals for your outdoor escapes.


On the menu: How to plan your outdoor meals, some recipe 130809_Camp-Foodideas, kitchen equipment demonstrations, some ethical principles and security rules for appropriate outdoor cooking.

A snack will be served and you’ll get the chance to try out the recipes you’ll prepare! Continue reading

Did you know?

LS012477There is now an easy way to stay informed of all new postings made on the Friends’ website as soon as they are published. You could get new postings directly in your email in-box. Details on how to activate this feature are described below.


Go to the home page of the Friends’ website and at the very bottom of the right-hand pane, there is a section entitled “SUBSCRIBE TO BLOG VIA EMAIL” and a box to enter your email address (see an image of this below). Enter it and once you have done that, hit the SUBSCRIBE button underneath and voilà, from now on, you’ll be kept abreast of all new activities and news related to the Friends of the Gatineau Park.


  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Luskville Falls Trail Workbee – Many Thanks

The NCC and the Friends of Gatineau Park wish to express their sincere appreciation to the fifteen or so volunteers that participated into the workbee that took place last Saturday morning on the first section of the Luskville Falls Trail. This event was organized to mark the National Trails Day in Québec.DSC_0858

The enthusiast and energetic volunteers help to close two unofficial trails, to fill and compact steps with stone dust, to build stone steps and to better direct the trail up to the base of the falls. Although the work was demanding physically and the mosquitoes were quite present, the volunteers present found it quite gratifying to contribute to improve one of the most popular trails of the Gatineau Park, specially on a hot and sunny day.

In ending, sincere thanks to Mario Simard from the Friends and Steve McLaughlin from the NCC for organizing and conducting this activity in a very capable manner. Included here are several photos (A, B & C) taken during this event.



Fireflies – A Glowing Evening in the Gatineau Park

110705-fireflyThey’re not flies and they’re not on fire — so, what are they!?

Come to the Park to find out how they do it and why.  We start with an indoor talk given by François Génier, Manager of the Insect Collection at the Canadian Museum of Nature.  Then it’s out to a nearby site to hunt for live flashing fireflies.

Hosted by the Friends of Gatineau Park as a co-event with the Museum during its visiting show ‘Creatures of Light’,  from May 3 to November 9.

Bug net hats will likely be a great comfort!  (Insect repellent, of course, makes insects unhappy.)  Flashlights may be handy.

Here are more details about this exciting fun activity offered by the Friends of Gatineau Park:


  • When: Friday, June 20,  Starting at 8 pm

  • Where: Gatineau Park Visitor Centre – 33 Scott Road, Chelsea Québec

  • Cost: Adults $15 (members $12); Seniors / Students $12 (members $10); children $5

  • Information and Registration: (819)  827-2020 or 1-800-465-1867.

Places are limited! So, don’t wait to register!

The funds raised contribute to support the Friends of Gatineau Park’s activities.



WORKBEE : Saturday, June 7 – Luskville Falls Trail

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA To  celebrate the National Trails Day in Québec, you are invited to join the National Capital Commission (NCC) and the Friends of Gatineau Park (FGP) who are organizing a work bee to enhance the Luskville Falls Trail.  This activity will take place on Saturday, June 7, 2014.

If interested, please contact Mario Simard ASAP by e-mail - simard.m@sympatico.ca and leave your coordinates.

Please share this information with anyone you think might be interested in participating in this activity.


Meeting Place: Luskville Falls Trail parking lot / picnic area at 9 am, rain or shine. Those interested in sharing transportation will meet at 8 am in the parking of the Visitor Center in Chelsea. Should you need a lift to get there, please ensure that you indicate this when contacting Mario.

A good part of this rather demanding work should be completed by 12:30 – 1:00 pm. Those with some extra energy left may be invited to continue working in the afternoon.


  • Water
  • Lunch (if you are willing to work beyond lunch time or just want to have lunch with the other volunteers before going home)
  • Working gloves should you have any
  • Insect repellent might be useful too…

Let’s have fun while doing something useful!

If there are enough participants (more than 30), work will also be done to refresh old trails in the Wakefield area (Vorlage’s land up behind the MacLaren cemetery), under the direction of Ken Bouchard.

When contacting Mario, please indicate whether you have a preference between working on the Luskville Falls Trail or in the Wakefield area.


Trees of Gatineau Park – Friday, June 13

130517_Willow-PlaisanceThe Friends of the Gatineau Park are happy to be offering a brand new activity featuring the trees of the Gatineau Park. This event will take place on Friday, June 13, 2014. Gatineau Park’s diversity of landforms, its geographic location and human settlement patterns have served to make it host to a wide variety of tree species. But these different trees are not spread evenly over the landscape. Each of the over 45 species has adaptations that allow it to exploit certain conditions more successfully than others. In this program, Justin Peter – former Interpretive Naturalist at Gatineau Park and Algonquin Park – will focus on the relationship that our trees have with the land and with each other. Continue reading

Day of the Tree and Forest – Saturday, May 24

121009_Last-Golden-RaysThe Friends of the Gatineau Park will be having a kiosk at the Day of the Tree and Forest on Saturday, May 24, 2014 in the parking lot of the Heritage College. This day is organized by the CREDDO, which is the Regional Council for the Environment and Sustainable Development in Outaouais.

Check out the CREDDO website (mainly in French) for more details about this day-packed event including workshops and family activities. Distribution of tree sprouts (free) and rain water recuperation barrels (for sale) will also take place during this event.

So, if you have a chance, please stop by our kiosk and the volunteers manning our kiosk will be happy to answer any questions you may have about our organization and our activities.

Launch of the 7th Season of Adopt-a-Trail


France Girard is now responsible for the Adopt-a-Trail program and, over the last few weeks, she has organized the next season of the program which runs from May 15 to October 15. Recently, France, with the assistance of Paule Tremblay, was at the Visitor Centre of the Park to meet the 2014 volunteers  (more than 20) and to allocate them a vest and a map of the summer trails.

Paule Tremblay is coming back again this year as program coordinator. In that capacity, she will review the reports submitted by the volunteers after their visit to the trail adopted in 2014,and  then, she will transmit any  problems requiring attention to the NCC for corrective action.

Should you have any questions about the program, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with France.

CHANGE OF DATES: Petals and Pioneers – May 23 (French) & May 23 (English)


PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS ACTIVITY originally Planned for MAY 16 in FRENCH HAS now BEEN REPORTED to MAY 23. SO, 2 separate walks (1 in english and 1 in french) will now take place on may 23.


The friends of gatineau park are excited to be offering a brand new activity taking place on Friday, may 16 23 (french) and May 23 (english) on the lauriault trail. The Petals and pioneers walk on the lauriault trail will be lead by an experienced naturalist and will give the participants an excellent opportunity to learn more about the Erythrone-05wflowering plants of the gatineau park as well as the history of some of the early settlers. This two-hour evening walk will provide an overview of the human and natural history of Gatineau Park. We will explore some of the varied environments of the Park, introduce its plant and animal life, meet the Eardley Escarpment Ecosystem and learn about families such as the Lauriaults and Mulvihills whose names have become part of Gatineau Park, and who once lived and farmed in this area. Continue reading