Friends of the Park: combining interest with pleasure!
THINKING OF VOLUNTEERING? The many volunteers with the Friends of Gatineau Park help promote the Park and make it possible for vast numbers to enjoy its attractions.
Our volunteers will also tell you that being involved with the Friends of the Park lets them broaden their knowledge of nature and the heritage of the area, develop and make the most of their skills, and above all enjoy themselves with a diverse and dynamic group.
Below is a brief description of some of our most common needs.
A series of activities usually taking place on Friday evenings. Typically an expert gives a presentation on a given subject (owls, frogs, wolves, insects etc.) at the Visitors Centre in Chelsea, and then takes the participants into the park to observe the wildlife. Volunteers must arrive about thirty minutes before the event to help prepare the room, welcome participants, check registrations and fill out discount cards. They also help supervise participants and ensure their safety while on the outing in the Park.
Snowshoeing under the Stars
These events (which are part of the Dusk Series) consist of a two-hour snowshoe trek on a particular subject, leaving from the Visitors Centre in Chelsea. Volunteers must arrive about thirty minutes before the event to help prepare the snowshoes, welcome the thirty or so participants (usually divided into two language groups), check registrations and fill out discount cards, distribute snowshoes and assist the younger participants in putting them on. Most important, they must make sure no-one is left behind on the outing.
An individual (or a group) walks and inspects a path in the park on a regular basis. The volunteer picks up litter, helps keep the trail in good condition, reports on the state of the path and its use, and encourages users to behave in a respectful manner. The volunteer commits to walk the path and give a report about every two weeks from May to October.
Volunteers represent the Friends of the Park at various community and promotional activities such as the Wildlife Festival, Heritage Day or Earth Day celebrations. Sometimes they take the opportunity to sell tickets to a draw for a canoe, the profits from which help finance research in the Park.
Board of Directors
The Board of Directors which may have up to twelve members, including a representative of the National Capital Commission, provides leadership and supervises all the activities of the organization. Its members are elected at the annual general meeting. The Board holds meetings roughly two hours long about twelve times a year. Members of the Board usually devote five hours a month to this work.
Nature Interpretation Committee
This Committee, which may have up to six people (including one representative of the National Capital Commission), supervises a whole range of activities related to nature interpretation such as school outings, tailor-made programs for specific groups, publication of interpretive guides, the dusk series or evenings at Lake Philippe. Volunteers must have an interest in nature and be prepared to devote at least three hours a month as part of the Committee.
Heritage Interpretation Committee
This Committee, which may have up to six people (including one representative of the National Capital Commission), oversees the introduction of activities related to the history of the Park and the area, and its human heritage. For example an activity was held recounting the contribution of C.E Montureux to the establishment of the system of cross country and downhill ski trails and shelters in the Park. This aspect, which is currently being developed, is an important part of the work of the Friends of the Park. Volunteers must have an interest in our history and heritage, and should be willing to devote at least three hours a month to serve on this Committee
This Committee deals with all matters relating to communications involving the Friends of the Park. Among other things, they produce the bulletin which appears twice a year, and the monthly newsletter ‘Staying Connected’. The Committee is also responsible for the website, and the production and distribution of trail guides. A commitment of at least two hours a month is required for this Committee.
Fundraising /Finance Committee
Members of this Committee assist the Board of Directors and other Committees regarding financial matters and obtaining funds. A commitment of at least two hours a month is required for this Committee.
The Friends of the Park have only one part-time employee, and there are many administrative jobs to be done. Any help with office work (committee support, data entry, mailings, taking messages, e-mails, filing etc.) is always welcome.
The Friends of the Park must often translate documents from one official language to the other, and volunteers can assist in meeting this need.
WHAT TO DO
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please let us know by phone (819-827-3113) or by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). Our Volunteer Coordinator, Mario Simard, will contact you to discuss how we can match your interests with the needs of the Friends of the Gatineau Park.
Help others benefit from the Park while improving your own understanding and skills. Our volunteers enjoy working with a diverse and dynamic group of people who share their enthusiasm.