MARK STABB and CARA GREGORY Special to The Standard
NORTH DURHAM: Local nature groups North Durham Nature and Friends of Nonquon will unveil a new interpretive signage that celebrates local wetlands at the Nonquon Environmental Education Centre north of Port Perry in Scugog Township. The unveiling will be July 17th at 9:30 a.m., at the David Carroll classroom site (1710 Scugog Line 10, Greenbank), followed by a short hike through the wetland. Orienteering and Exploring Life in the Pond stations, guided by knowledgeable volunteers, will be available for families to take part in following the hike. The event will conclude at 12:30 p.m. The large 4-panel display was written, designed and installed by volunteers and club members, and includes images donated by local photographers. The signs now provide students and visitors to the Education Centre with information about the geography and natural history of the area and helps raise awareness about the many values of wetlands. North Durham Nature is a nature club that operates in Uxbridge, Brock and Scugog Townships, and meets regularly in Uxbridge and Port Perry. Soon after the group was established in 2013, they teamed up with the already-established Friends of Nonquon and now collaborate on many nature activities and events. Volunteers from these groups saw an existing, little-used kiosk at the Education Centre as an opportunity to make a significant nature awareness project happen. The Nonquon Environmental Education Centre is operated by the Durham District School Board (DDSB), and every year provides over 9,000 students with hands-on outdoor experiences in nature. The nature trails are open to the public. The Centre is located within the roughly 1,150 hectare Nonquon Provincial Wildlife Area, a tract of public land that covers large wetlands and much of the watershed of the Nonquon River. The signs were installed on the existing kiosk – newly refurbished by the school board – and include, maps of the Provincial Wildlife Area and of the Education Centre’s trails. Nonquon education staff helped review the content of the sign. The new signs cost roughly $4,000 and was paid for with funds provided by club members, and a donation from the Retired Teachers of Ontario. Maps were provided for free, by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and the DDSB. The local Port Perry Sign Shop produced the signs and also contributed to the project.