Author Archives: Francis Beauchamp

Creatures of the Night

When daylight gives way to night, a whole body of life becomes active in the forest. Accompanied by one of the Friends of Gatineau Park’s nature interpreters and a guest biologist, come learn about the mysterious but fascinating “creatures of the night”: fireflies, coyotes, bats, and flying squirrels, amongst others.

This family activity will include a 45 minute indoor presentation followed by a short interpretive walk on part of the Sugarbush Trail.
Clothing and footwear suitable for trail use and appropriate to the weather.
This activity is recommended for adults and children over 10 years old. Reservations are required.

Friday, June 16, 2017 from 8 pm to 10 pm in French
Saturday, June 17, 2017 from 8 pm to 10 pm in English

Member of the Friends of Gatineau Park
Adult: $16
Student (13 and over) / Senior (65 and over): $13
Family: $34

Adult: $20
Student / Senior (65 and over): $16
Family: $42

Child (Age 10 to 12):
Cost: $7

Revenues go towards supporting the programs of the Friends of Gatineau Park.

Gatineau Park Visitor Centre
33 Scott Road, Chelsea, Quebec

Information and reservations
819-827-2020 or 1-866-456-3016 (toll-free)

BioBlitz 2017

Here is the schedule for the National Capital Bioblitz! Don’t forget to reserve your spot on our Eventbrite website, they go out fast!

BioBlitz Gatineau Park - Sampling activities May 26 2017 public___B



Wilderness Skills, Introduction to Bird Watching

Have you always wanted to learn more about the life of birds?  Register now to participate in a bird-watching workshop offered by the Friends of Gatineau Park.  Mr Robert Alvo, an expert ornithologist and author of the recently published book, Being a Bird in North America (BABINA), introduces you to the practice of bird-watching, including the following topics:

  • Equipment to invest in
  • Planning your outings
  • Learning where the best bird-watching spots are in Gatineau park and in the region
  • Resources available for amateur birdwatchers
  • Observing while respecting the environmentbirdwatch

The workshop consists of an indoor presentation followed by a hike with practical exercises. This activity is for persons aged 13 and older.  Reservations required.

Bring your binoculars and field guide if you have them. Some binoculars will be on hand to loan.

Copies of Rob’s book will be available for purchase for $40, taxes in, payable by cash or credit card.

May 27  (in French) 8AM
May 28 (in English) 8AM

Member of Friends of Gatineau Park:  Adult: $16;  Student (13+)/Senior (65+): $13;  Family: 34$

Non-Member: Adult: $20; Student (13+)/Senior (65+): $16; Family: 42$

The funds raised will help support Friends of Gatineau Park activities.

Gatineau Park Visitor Centre
33 Scott Road, Chelsea, Quebec

Reservations and information:  819-827-2020 or 1-866-456-3016

Winter Review: highlights of our activities!

The Friends of Gatineau Park team delivered a host of successful activities this winter. Our interpreters and volunteers continue to show their passions for the Park. They have helped to orient and prepare visitors so that they have a rich and safe experience in the great outdoors.

Winter 2017 in summary

Snowshoe under the stars

One of our most popular winter activities, Snowshoe under the Stars, saw over 200 guests participating. We were challenged this year by ice and deteriorating trail conditions and, for safety reasons, had to cancel 3 evenings. Despite this, we offered Friday night walks on seven evenings this year, with 2 interpreters providing both English and French interpretation with the help of 2 to 5 volunteers for each outing.

Outdoor wilderness education series

In partnership with Sauvetage Bénébole Outaouais – Ottawa Volunteer Search and Rescue, we offered an introduction to map and compass orientation as part of our Outdoor Wilderness Skills workshop series. This series provides participants with the basic knowledge and understanding they need when out in nature and promotes recreational practices that are safe and respectful of the natural heritage of Gatineau Park.

Partnership with Nordik Spa-Nature

We have a great partnership with the Spa. The combination of an hour of interpretive snowshoeing followed by the marvelous relaxation and pampering of the baths, sauna, steam room… A wonderful relaxing experience, in the winter, under the stars, after an interpretive snowshoe hike. Relaxation guaranteed!

Community events

The Friends participated in two major events this winter in the National Capital Region, the Winter Celebration at Rideau Hall and the Gatineau Loppet.

The Right Honourable Governor General David Johnston invited the Friends to set up an interpretive kiosk at the Winter Celebration and we had 1,036 guests visit our tent (including the Governor General). During the Loppet, for the kids race, which is the Mini 2km, we set up our kiosk and had around 350 guests visit our tent.

Private Groups

The Friends provided interpretive tours for school groups, employee groups, and community agencies. Through our programs, these groups have learned more about the Park’s unique ecology and rich cultural history. In total we had over 225 guests for snowshoe interpretive tours in the park.

Programming with the NCC

Much of the Friends of Gatineau Park’s interpretation work is offered through our collaboration with the NCC. Friends of Gatineau Park interpreters provide many of the programs developed and managed by the Commission.

* January 2017 –  800 New Canadians participated in snowshoe hikes.

* January to March 2017 – We offered 42 snowshoe outings for the general public.

* February to March 2017 – We offered 45 snowshoe outings for regional school groups.

* March and April 2017 – We offered a new program to teach about the canines present in the Park, their role and their protection. There were 23 schools that participated, which included 67 classes and 1,600 students.

Winter Carnival

* March 11 and 12 2017 – 6 interpreters and 15 volunteers participated in the success of this epic activity. The carnival was offered as part of the Canada 150 celebrations and its goal was to encourage new Canadians to go outside and experience the joys of winter and the Park. Many new Canadian citizens braved the cold on Saturday, while others had a rather balmy Sunday, but all enjoyed sliding, parking lot hockey, interpretive tents, and so much more.

Thank you

Many thanks to our professional group of interpreters who go out every time, in good and not so good weather, to welcome visitors to the Park and accompany them in the development of a relationship with nature. We value your knowledge and experience. We are greatly encouraged by the work you do on behalf of the Friends. Because of your work with our programming we can offer activities of the highest excellence, to encourage visitors to appreciate and enjoy the Park, to leave no trace, and to understand both the natural and cultural value of the Park.

A big thank you to all the volunteers whose enthusiasm and involvement make it possible for the Friends to carry out our mission of education and outreach in the park. Know that your participation makes a difference.

Thank you to the team at the NCC, most notably: Francois Leduc, Rachel Paquette, Laura Marks, Dominque Turcotte, and Gregory Shaw.

Thank you as well to the CLD des collines for loaning us tents to use for our events!

Spring is here! So is our spring programming!

Keep your eyes out for our next amazing events!

Gatineau Park Winter Festival!

Great job by our volunteers last weekend who participated to the Winter Festival for new canadians organised by the NCC.

Picture: Sarah Crowe (left) et Sandra Moore (right)

Orienteering with Map and Compass Workshop in Gatineau Park

Finding your way with a map and compass is an important skill to master for Map and compass workshop 2anyone who participates in outdoor recreation activities. Come and learn the theory and practical applications of orienteering with a map and compass.

This workshop is organized by the Friends of Gatineau Park in partnership with Sauvetage Bénévole Outaouais – Ottawa Volunteer Search and Rescue and is comprised of two sessions.

Session 1 (Indoor)
Through presentations and hands on exercises, you will have the opportunity to learn the following:

  • Understanding the legend on a topographic map
  • Reading the landscape by using a map
  • Using coordinates to locate points on a map
  • Measuring distance on a map
  • Planning your route using a map
  • Understanding the relationship between the map, compass and GPS

Session 2 (Outdoor)
This session will take place near the Gatineau Park Visitor Centre where you will carry out a series of exercises covering these concepts and techniques:

  • Functioning and characteristics of a compass
  • Determining a bearing
  • Travelling on a bearing
  • Detouring around obstacles

Map and compass workshop 1Dress according to the weather. Compasses will be provided but you may bring your own if you prefer.

Please note that you may register for either or for both of the sessions.

This activity is suitable for participants 13 and older. Reservations are required.


Session 1 (Indoor):
Saturday, March 18, 2017
9:30 am to 12 (in French)
1:30 pm to 4 (in English)

Session 2 (Outdoor):
Saturday, April 29, 2017
9:30 am to 12 (in French)
1:30 pm to 4 (in English)

Cost per session

Members of the Friends of Gatineau Park
Adults: $16
Students (13 and over): $13
Seniors (65 and over): $13

Non members
Adults: $20
Students (13 and over): $16
Seniors (65 and over): $16

Funds raised support the activities of the Friends of Gatineau Park.

Gatineau Park Visitor Centre 33 Scott Road, Chelsea, Québec

Information and Reservations
819-827-2020 or toll free at 1-866-456-3016

The Friends at Rideau Hall

Come and see us this Saturday at Rideau Hall for the 2017 Winter Celebrations

you can go to for all the details.

President’s address

Dear Friends of Gatineau Park,

It is an honour and a privilege to serve as your new President. I want to thank the Board for their support and encouragement. I would also like to thank, outgoing President Graeme Roderick, for his many years of service and dedication. He leaves big shoes to fill. I am looking forward to working with Graeme in his new capacity as Vice-President.

A little about myself. I am born and bread in Ottawa valley from a bilingual family. I am a runner and cross country skier. I spend a lot of time in the Park including as an NCC volunteer patroller in the Autumn and Winter. I have been your Treasurer since November 2013. I joined the Friends of Gatineau Park after going on the Animals Tracks program, which was a great first experience to our outreach and education activities.

The Friends of Gatineau Park as an organization is at a very exciting time in our development. We have a new Board, made up of very enthusiastic and committed volunteers. We have had the benefit of many previous successful Boards, which have given us a sound foundation on which to build.

I would like to introduce you to your new Board:
Diane Schreiner is our new Treasurer. She comes to the position after serving a year on the Board, her passions are citizen science and park interpretation.
Chris Paci is now in his third year as Secretary. He is a keen cyclist, Nordic skier, runner, and ecologist.
Marie-Claire LeMay, former VP, has taken leadership roles in the Friends including coordinator and interpreter.
Anouchka Soto, is the Board liaison for the Programming committee and is active on the Finance Committee.
Francis Beauchamp, Chair of Communications Committee, is a father and park enthusiast and is leading the redesigned website and work to rebrand and refresh our logo.
Nat Peters has been on the Board since 2015, she was past Chair of Communications.
We welcome two new Board members this year, Gabriel Guillet and Sandra Moore who we look forward to working with.
NCC liaison to the Board is Francois Leduc. Francois replaced Louis-Rene Sénéchal last year. Francois brings a wealth of experience with the NCC and Gatineau Park. His guidance and support is invaluable part of the work of our work.

While not a board member, the work of the Friends would not be possible without the dedication, energy and professionalism of Marie-Michèle Dallaire, Marie-Michèle has been an interpreter, past Board member, and is key coordinator.

The work of the Friends is also made possible because of the service of Gershon Rother, who has been the Chair of Program Committee for a number of years. His work on education and outreach with the committee ensures new and improved programs every season. Lastly, Mario Simard, Volunteer Coordinator, past Board member, ensures our programs have sufficient volunteers to support them.

I look forward to the year ahead. We want to hear from you! We invite you to give us your feedback, and let us know what you would like to see from your Board. How would you like to be engaged and involved as a member of the Friends?

Yours truly,
Sarah Crowe, President Friends of Gatineau Park


Introduction to snowshoeing in Gatineau Park

Learn the basics of snowshoeing at this workshop offered by the Friends of
Gatineau Park. During this guided activity on trails 60 and 61, you will learn more about the following:

  • planning an outing and the equipment you will need
  • the Park’s different snowshoe trails
  • reading the landscape and getting your bearings
  • safety and outdoor ethics.

This Friends of Gatineau Park activity is for persons aged 13 and over who are in good physical condition. The activity includes a 1.5-hour snowshoe hike, after a short presentation at the Visitor Centre.

Bring a backpack, water and a snack, and make sure that you dress appropriately for the weather.

Participants can bring their own snowshoes or borrow a pair for free from the Friends of Gatineau Park (please let us know when making your reservation).raquettes-avec-les-amis-du-parc-de-la-gatineau

Saturday, January 14, 2017 (in French)
1 pm to 3 pm

Sunday, January 15, 2017 (in English)
1 pm to 3 pm

Member of the Friends of Gatineau Park
Adult: $16
Student (13 and over): $13
Senior (65 and over): $13

Adult: $20
Student (13 and over): $16
Senior (60 and over): $16

The cost does not include trail access. Those who do not have a season pass will have to buy a daily snowshoe pass at the Visitor Centre before the activity begins.

The funds raised will help support Friends of Gatineau Park activities.