Jeff Green | Sep 15, 2011
Photo: Bill Campbell presenting the bursary to Katelyn Ronfeld
The Friends of Bon Echo Park announced the winners of the 2011 Bursary Awards at their Annual General Meeting on September 3. The bursary award program has been in place for over 15 years and provides up to two $500 bursaries to winning students. The bursaries are open to graduating students of the North Addington Education Centre (NAEC) in Cloyne and to students working at the park.
NAEC graduate Katelyn Ronfeld has had a long-time relationship with Bon Echo and a wealth of experience in a volunteer capacity in the Northbrook-Cloyne area. Among her skills and strengths are her willingness to serve, her inter-personal relationships and organization. She has served the 1st Cloyne Girl Guide program for seven years. Annual campouts at Bon Echo with the Guides encouraged the girls to learn about the wildlife, plants and trees and how to preserve the natural habitat around them. As a member of the NAEC Eco Team she assisted in enforcing new recycling programs and energy audits and in providing every student with a re-usable water bottle, helping not just the community but the entire school to be ecologically friendly. At graduation she received the Lieutenant Governor General’s Community Volunteer Award. Katelyn has been accepted into the University of Ottawa Bachelor of Social Sciences program with a major in Sociology/Co-Op where she will focus on the interaction of young children within society, mentoring them as a role model.
Colin Sutherland has worked in the Natural Heritage Education program at Bon Echo for two summers. A native of Ottawa, Colin has camped at Bon Echo since he was six years old. Colin’s first year on the Bon Echo staff caused him to rethink his major, changing from Journalism to joint honours programs in Geography and Sociology. One project that he is interested in developing is interactive trail guides. The end result could be self-guided tours using a tablet computer. The Friends have expressed interest in this in the past and are keenly aware that it is a significant way to open up the park’s excellent trails to more people.
The Friends of Bon Echo also support other student programs related to the natural world. Each year they contribute $500 to the Ontario Parks Partners Bursary Program in recognition of summer park employees across Ontario who are outstanding in their service to park visitors. On September 23-25 the Friends will be sending two local high school students to the Youth Summit on Biodiversity and Sustainable Living sponsored by Ontario Nature.