Thursday, 25 October 2012

Circle Of Friends of Ontario Parks: Navigational Map

I find it difficult, sometimes, doing hospice volunteering. It is emotional and demanding.
I had other volunteer work: I volunteered as Treasurer with Friends of Murphys Point Park. I found it onerous, I wasn't treated as a volunteer, but more as an employee.  I was treasurer and I didn't agree with the way the money was being spent and spent time hitting my head against the wall. Since I do not even get mileage for my hospice work, due to cutbacks, I found it frustrating see where the money was going.

Friends are volunteers, who are elected in annual meetings, to supervise the spending of donation monies in parks. As with many groups, it is difficult to find volunteers to sit on a board. It is often time consuming, and provides little reward, as typically, you are not permitted to benefit financially from such 'work.' They are non-profits, who can manage up to millions of dollars (as with Friends of Algonquin Park) in donations and taxpayer grants.

Our provincial parks have a Circle of Friends to assist the parks in marketing, supporting local arts groups, and improving infrastructure, by snagging the big bucks from taxpayer grants. It seems wrong to me, since we do not control who gets the funding. Some Friends groups have enough donations, like Algonquin Park, from moneyed families to hire an executive director. They are also able to apply for these grants, since the process is complex, requires much paperwork, and time, which doesn't seem fair. There is no way to determine who deserves a grant, as opposed to who has the time to apply for one.

Ontario Parks determines which parks need new roofs or other capital grants, but Friends groups can also apply for funding, through the Ontario government, to assist their work. I am not sure if this is fair or not. You'd think Ontario Parks should be objective, understand the cut backs in taxpayer funding, balance out funding, which parks they need to close, and respond to the politicians elected to make these decisions. Yet, it is the civil servants who determine who gets a grant and they are not duly elected nor objective.

Here is a skill I'd forgotten I had mastered: an active map. Click on the green tree to visit the Friends website! circle of friends park locations Bonne chere Murphys Point Bon Sandbanks Presqu Bronte Creek Pinery Wasaga MacGregor Awenda Massasauga Killbear Algonquin Mashkinonje Killarney Ferris Lake Superior Sleeping Giant Charleston Lake Short Hills Ojibway Prairie Sleeping Giant

Today's challenge! Here are the alphabetical links to the Friends groups:

1 comment:

DUTA said...

I greatly admire your versatile volunteering. You help both Nature environment and Humans.
Keep up the good work!