We Did It! Celebrating Our 5th Anniversary and a Major Conservation Win.
We have some exciting news to share with you! The South Shore Joint Initiative has reached two important milestones this year. This year we are celebrating our 5th anniversary as an organization dedicated to protecting and restoring the natural heritage of Prince Edward County’s south shore. We successfully contributed to the creation of the Monarch Point Conservation Reserve, a 200-hectare protected area that is home to many rare and endangered species, including the monarch butterfly.
We are so proud of our team and our partners. This project would not have been possible without their hard work, passion, and collaboration. We also want to thank all of you who have supported us along the way with your donations, volunteer hours and advocacy.
This is not the end of our journey, but the beginning of a new chapter. We have many more challenges and opportunities ahead of us, and we hope you will continue to join us in our mission.
You are invited to the 5th Anniversary and Monarch Point Conservation Reserve Celebration!
Don’t wait and book your tickets now for the Night of the Monarch Dinner and Variety Show today (CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR TICKETS)! Join us for an evening of good food, fun and music on Saturday, October 14, 2023 at 6 PM in the North Marysburgh Town Hall! Support SSJI, celebrate our 5th anniversary and the creation of the Monarch Point Conservation Reserve.
The $150 price of each ticket covers $100 for the meal and entertainment and a $50 donation to the South Shore Joint Initiative for which you will be receiving a tax receipt. Your donation allows us to continue with our education and conservation programs, including the Commercial Fisheries Oral History Project, the development of a South Shore Footpath and the restoration of the Hudgin Log House.
Many thanks go out to our sponsors:
If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities, please contact Cheryl Anderson at [email protected]
About the new Monarch Point Nature Reserve
by John Hirsch
The South Shore Joint Initiative’s first major project came to fruition on June 16 when the province declared the almost 4,000 acres of crown land on the South Shore to be the Monarch Point Conservation Reserve, under the Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act.
As the province stated in their formal announcement, most current permitted recreational uses will be able to continue. This includes hunting, fishing and ATV use on trails. But changes could be made in the future if uses threaten the ecological values of the conservation reserve.
The next step in defining what will be the permitted uses is creation of a management plan, specific to Monarch Point.
This plan will be developed by Ontario Parks staff with an extensive public consultation process. SSJI plans to work closely with Ontario Parks officials as we have much of the institutional knowledge necessary.
I would note that contrary to fears expressed by some on social media, there will not be a charge for admission to the conservation reserve.
Notification about the consultation process should be coming out shortly and we will continue to advise our supporters as this process proceeds.
This article was published in The South Shoreliner, read the new issue here.
Simpson Road Stroll
A warm and sunny day greeted participants for the inaugural Monarch Point Stroll on September 2. Carlin Thompson, Assistant Superintendent of Sandbanks Provincial Park joined us, as the Monarch Point Conservation Reserve will be managed by Sandbanks.
Leaving from the corner of Army Reserve and Simpson Roads we made our way towards the Lake. After about 500 metres we took a left turn to investigate the Simpson Road impoundment created by Ducks Unlimited in the 1980s. Along that road were several alvar-like areas hosting interesting and colourful plants. Of note, as we reached the damper areas were several patches of Nodding Lady’s Tresses Orchids.
Nodding Lady’s Tresses Orchids - photo by Dawn Ayer
We were pleased to see several Monarchs along the berm.
Monarch - photo by John Lowry
Photo by Dawn Ayer
Back along the road to the Lake, we found Milkweed Tussock Moth caterpillars on many of the common Milkweed plants, but no Monarch caterpillars. Other finds:
Swallowtail butterfly - photo by John Lowry
Northern (Orange) Crescent - photo by Dale Smith
Widow Skimmer - photo by Dale Smith
Yellow-collared Scape moth - photo by Dale Smith
It was a quiet day for birds, but we did manage to identify 10 species, including a juvenile Bald Eagle.
We were sorry to see evidence of camping and a fire pit at the shore. The derelict boat from about two years ago remains.
The walk on the Simpson Road extension is relatively easy and goes through meadow, forest and wetland areas. In the spring and fall it is a good place to hear and see migrating birds. The impoundment hosts waterfowl and shore birds.
Thank you to everyone who came along, and especially to John Lowry and Dale Smith, who identified the plants, insects and birds for us.
Saturday, September 9, 2023, 9 am until noon
sponsored by the South Marysburgh Recreation Committee
Help us clean up Monarch Point Conservation Reserve! Pick up your garbage bags at the corner of Babylon and Helmer Roads or at the Corner of County Road 24 and Army Reserve Road. Bring your "pickings" to the big bin at the Corner of Babylon and Helmer Roads.
Map drawn by John Lowry
Meet us at The Milford Fall Fair:
Canada's Best Little Country Fair on Saturday, September 16th, 2023
The Milford Fall Fair has been running continuously since 1946 when it welcomed home returning soldiers from World War Two. Now it's a community and family focused event on the same Milford Fair Grounds (Mt. Tabor). Bring the whole family for a full fall day of exhibits, activities, vendors and food trucks, that highlights our talents and passion for South Marysburgh enjoyed by many. Whether you want to volunteer, enter your craft or garden bounty, sell your wares or join in the fun, there's something for everyone! And don't miss the parade! Source: https://www.milfordfallfair.com/
Saturday, October 21, 9 am
Meet at the Hudgin House 191 Ostrander Point Road
The Stroll offers the opportunity to learn about the Hudgin House and its restoration and also prepare for the Arts Council paper-making workshop.
We will spend some time collecting parts of the milkweed plants that grow in abundance in the meadow down the road from the Hudgin House in Monarch Point Conservation Area. The materials collected will be used on Sunday, October 22 for a paper-making workshop with the Arts Council. Registration for the paper-making workshop is through the Arts Council at https://countyarts.regfox.com/botanical-papermaking (Sunday, October 22,2023).
We will also have time to walk to the shore and enjoy the vista across the Lake. As always, be prepared for rough walking and the possibility of ticks and poison ivy.
Support SSJI and Discover Local Art
Are you looking for a unique way to support the South Shore Joint Initiative and purchase some amazing art? Then you’ll love our Art Extravaganza initiative!
You can browse and buy the artwork online on our website here. They range from $300 to $500 and SSJI returns 30% of the sold price to the artist and issues a tax receipt for the remaining 70% of the sale price. You can also see a few pieces in person at The Blue Sail Restaurant and Melt Gallery in Picton, and Flame + Smith Restaurant in Bloomfield. Plus, stay tuned for more pop-up art shows in the Fall.
We are so grateful for the generosity and talent of our artists. Their work showcases the beauty and diversity of our south shore, which we are working hard to protect and restore. Don’t miss this chance to support SSJI and local artists! Visit our website here or come to our pop-up art shows to see these amazing pieces for yourself! For more information and sale options please contact Cheryl Anderson at [email protected] or call 613-849-7743.
Support the Hudgin House Restoration!
Look at the progress of the restoration.
As of August 2023:
The restored House will offer a gathering place for school groups, community members, and environmentalists to learn about the South Shore’s amazing biodiversity and unique history. It will be a place of stories – of historical use of the land, of sailing schooners crossing Lake Ontario, of Whip-poor-wills in the woods and of Blanding’s Turtles in the swamps. It will be an inclusive and welcoming place for everyone. Here is what you can do to help. Bid on the Quilt handcrafted by Myrna Wood and Paula Peel and get your ticket for a Dick Bird's canoe draw. Find out about your winnings at the Night of the Monarch event on October 14th.
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