Volunteer Corner


Volunteers are essential to the PFN. Over the 83 years since its beginning, volunteers have accomplished a great deal. They built a boardwalk in the nature sanctuary at Trent and a viewing tower at Miller Creek, and they installed osprey platforms and numerous bluebird and wood duck boxes throughout the area. They have served on city committees, fought for wetland protection, led hundreds of outings, organized educational meetings, and kept things moving by sitting on the Board. Many of the volunteers have been serving the PFN for years and have given countless hours. Some would like to pass the torch.

Since the start of the pandemic, we have welcomed many new members to the PFN. Some have started to take on roles in the organization and I’m sure there are some of you who would like to lend a hand if they saw a task of interest. Please have a look at some of the many ways you can get involved.

Board members: The Board of Directors is responsible for making all the good things happen that you enjoy as a PFN member. We organize meetings, outings, and programs and we advocate to protect our natural environment in the face of pressures from development and climate change. We are developing a strategic plan and we are continuing our transition to the world of digital communications. We are involving more young people in PFN objectives and activities. Are you interested in helping to manage the PFN as it faces the challenges of the next year? If so, the Board is looking for new members to join our group of volunteers committed to the PFN. We currently have two vacancies and would like to bring the Board up to full complement. Generally, your initiation is gradual and you take on jobs that appeal to you. If you are interested, please contact Anda Rungis, the Chair of the Nominating Committee at [email protected]

Refreshment table: Anne Elliott has taken over the organisation of the refreshment table at our monthly meetings. A few people have volunteered to help but a few more would be welcome. This is a great way to meet members. Contact Anne at [email protected]

Zoom/tech support for Hybrid Meetings: As we continue to offer our monthly meetings through a hybrid model, we are looking for another volunteer to fill in at the Camp Kawartha Environment Centre meetings should the regular tech support person be unable to attend. This is a perfect opportunity for anyone who wants to volunteer a little bit of their time with the PFN and who regularly attends our monthly meetings. Tasks include getting the speaker and their presentation set up on the laptop that's available and ready to go at the Environment Centre and starting and monitoring the Zoom portion of the meeting using the same laptop. A document with detailed directions will be included. If interested or to learn more, contact Shelley at [email protected]

Advocacy Committee: For many years the PFN has worked to protect natural spaces in the area and province. The advocacy committee periodically lobbies to prevent environmental destruction and influence decision makers. When development, road or bridge changes threaten wetlands or forests, the committee looks at potential harm and responds. Generally, it does not demand a lot of volunteer time. Contact Sue at [email protected]

City Nature Challenge: The PFN is partnering with the City of Peterborough for the second annual City Nature Challenge. Citizens are encouraged to pay attention to the biodiversity in their community and log what they find on iNaturalist. A committee is being formed to plan events throughout the year to engage citizens at displays and to promote the global challenge in April. Volunteers are needed to help plan and/or man the displays. Contact Sue at [email protected]

Outing leaders: Outings have always been popular with members. Focusing on different aspects of nature and held at different times throughout the year, members learn while meeting others with similar interests. In the last few years, several of our long-time leaders have stepped down leaving a void. If you have some knowledge about an aspect of nature or would like to share a walk on your property, please let me know. Training is provided until you feel comfortable on your own and even one outing a year would be appreciated. Contact Sue at [email protected]

A Volunteer Opportunity with the Ontario Trumpeter Swan Restoration Group
Overview: The Ontario Trumpeter Swan Restoration Group is a 100% volunteer based group committed to the restoration and preservation of Ontario’s trumpeter swans. Over the past few years, the number of sightings and reports of trumpeter swans have multiplied several times over. This is great news and a fantastic challenge to have! To ensure timely and accurate information is entered into our database, we are in search of new volunteers to assist in our data collection and entry. You do not need to be a computer guru to apply. Our dynamite team of Gary Lane and Joy Poyntz will provide you with complete training and provide you with ongoing support as you learn and become an important part of our research collection team. Here are the details for those who may be interested in joining the team:
Time Commitment: varies depending on the time of year and volume of sightings and reports we receive; this is an ongoing volunteer opportunity with the great intrinsic reward of knowing you are assisting our trumpeter swans by gathering and inputting data on their behalf; Gary and/or Joy will provide interested volunteers with more accurate time commitments depending on the volunteer database work you will be completing for us. We are looking for volunteers in different areas of the province and/or for different collection bases.
Job Description: collecting and inputting data gathered from various sources – eg. eBird, iNaturalist, our Facebook page, other Facebook pages that may have swan reports from time to time (eg. Ontario Birds), reports received from the Wye Marsh, the Trumpeter Swan Society and reports sent directly to Ontario trumpeter swans; Gary and Joy will work with you to assign you an area or a reporting source to gather your data from that you will input into our database.
Equipment Required: access to a desktop computer or a laptop as this work cannot be completed fully using only a phone; internet access and the ability to send and receive messages and emails; access to Google docs – training and support will be provided to you on the use of Google docs for our database.
Confidentiality: As a member of our volunteer team, you may be privy to confidential data and reports concerning Ontario’s trumpeter swans. You will be asked to affirm that you will maintain the confidentiality of the data at all times and that it will not be shared with anyone other than those who are part of the Ontario Trumpeter Swan Restoration Group team.
If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity, please respond by sending a message to Gary Lane [email protected] or Joy Poyntz for further information or consideration and let us know where you are located. If you message me, I will pass your name on to Gary and Joy [email protected] While we thank all who will express an interest in joining our team, the Ontario Trumpeter Swan Restoration Group will only be following up with those who are in an area where we need coverage. Thank you for your time and we look forward to hearing from you.