| Sep 24, 2009

Back to HomeFeature Article - September 24, 2009 The Universe and Bon EchoBy Derek Maggs

Astronomer, Terence Dickinson

2009 is the International Year of Astronomy. The Friends highlighted this year at their 21st Annual General Meeting by featuring astronomer Terence Dickinson, editor of SkyNews and best-selling author, to present and show over 100 pictures of space, many taken by astronauts and Mr. Dickinson. The meeting was open to the public, resulting in a full house at the Barrie Township Hall. He projected a night photograph taken from space showing the amount of light pollution, which hampers viewing the night sky. It became evident that the northern segment of Ontario’s Land O’ Lakes is possibly the best area in southern Ontario to view the heavens. Following the intriguing presentation, the group went outside to look through his telescope at the craters on the moon and the moons and rings of Jupiter.

The Friends have worked hard to promote both Park and Friends activities in the local area and on the web. A number of press releases highlighted the eight artists showcasing their work in the Colin Edwards Memorial Art Gallery. The Friends website posted the weekly Natural Heritage Education (NHE) programs taking place in the Park to enable area residents and visitors to bring their families to the daily activities. Local area Corporate Members strongly supported the promotion of the Bon Art Exhibition and Sale in July.

The Friends continue to support the NHE program at Bon Echo. Funding by the Friends provides an additional 6-7 NHE staff, effectively doubling the number of personnel presenting programs to Park visitors. Over 60,000 people are involved in NHE activities each summer whether in the amphitheatre, on the interpretive boat tours, hikes or the ever-popular daily children’s programs. The Friends also funded amphitheatre programs including singer David Archibald and astronomer Terence Dickinson and special presentations such as Sciensational Sssnakes!

Photo: Ken Hook, Sonya Krause, Richard Downing

Two bursary awards of $500 each were presented to Bon Echo student staff Sonya Krause of Toronto and Richard Downing of Foxboro. Students eligible to apply are graduating students of the North Addington Education Centre in Cloyne and/or park staff. All applicants must be studying in a post-secondary program consistent with the goals of the Friends of Bon Echo and must submit an essay describing how their chosen program will assist them in promoting the understanding, and preservation of our natural and cultural heritage. This year’s winning essays may be found on www.mazinaw.on.ca/fobecho

Numerous volunteers contribute their time and talent to ensure the success of the Friends of Bon Echo. The Art Exhibition and Sale, the South Beach Barbecues, operation of the tours boats and the Greystones Gift and Book Shop rely on the commitment of volunteers.

The 2009 raffle features a 16’ Paluski canoe donated by Bon Echo Canoe and an original oil painting “Bon Echo Rock”, donated by Denbigh artist Harold Kaufmann. Tickets are on sale (3 for $5 or $2 each) at the Greystones Gift & Book Shop and Hook’s RONA until October 10 when the draw will take place at 4PM. The Friends appreciate the many people who offer support by buying tickets.

Support local
independant journalism by becoming a patron of the Frontenac News.