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FOMB Projects

FOMB Projects

Friends of Misery Bay needs your help from time to time! Keep checking back on this page for a list of ongoing projects!


Added 22 Mar 2018

Spring 2018

Last year we went “all-out”! We completed the Science North exhibits in time for Canada’s 150 Celebrations, and we fundraised, fundraised, fundraised! Volunteers made pottery bowls for sale at markets and at the Garden’s Gate Restaurant, volunteers sold lottery tickets on a lottery where the donated big prize was a kayak, and we solicited donations from Island businesses and individuals. People are invited to contact us if they are interested in making bowls in 2018, or in helping out with any of our other activities.

Volunteers kept the Visitor Centre open on as many weekends as possible from Victoria Day weekend to Thanksgiving. Many thanks to our dedicated volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering at the Visitor Centre, please let us know.

On the ground, we made a lot of progress on the new accessible trail from the Visitor Centre to the bay. Volunteers laid down logs, smoothed gravel, and did a lot of hard work. It’s not finished yet, but we hope we will have enough volunteers to complete it by the summer. Last year volunteers also had a work day in cold, rainy weather, to get rid of as many of the invasive phragmites as possible along the west side of the bay. Judith Jones led the team at Misery Bay, as well as many other locations around Manitoulin where this invasive species has taken hold.

One new project this year is to build a “spur” of the trail to a new vernal pool. We are also planning new signs along the trails, to tell people about the special features in those locations, especially things that people might miss, like chattermarks left by glaciers as they scraped the rock pavement.

Added 7 July 2016








Heh All:  

Gotta tell you some great news- the new gazebo which is being called  OUR FRIENDS SHELTER and the boardwalk that crosses the vernal Pool,  called   WILLS’ VERNAL POOL CROSSING are done. We finished them up last Saturday. Attached photos show the completed shelter and boardwalk with some of the many volunteers that helped (it seems very appropriate that the one photo shows Peter Barnett installing the cement block supports on the alvar)- you will of course all know that Peter’s background is   ‘simply rocks’ (he is a noted geologist). You will note that the pictures of the boardwalk show that we used the material from the old boardwalk for the ramp of the new boardwalk.

A big thanks to our project manager-Jay Swain- at the end of it all- we had very little material left from our order of lumber- and a big thanks to the suppliers of our material  John Lewis for all the cedar and Noble Lumber for all other materials

We removed all of our construction equipment from the park on Saturday- it’s getting real busy there now. We will be going back in, in late July to install v-match cedar in the ceiling of the gazebo (want to give it an all natural look)

The trail upgrade will not take place until the fall.

Our Centre volunteers were very busy this past weekend- they greeted over 170 visitors over the Saturday and Sunday- great weather and a double long weekend.  Brenda was there all day on Saturday and Peg and Eric were there on Sunday morning- with Regina there for the afternoon on Sunday.

This coming weekend we have Molly and Marty there on Saturday from 10 to 1 and then Regina there on Saturday from 1:00 to 4:00 and on Sunday Peg and Eric are there for the 10 to 1 shift with Ann and Sarge looking after things from 1:00 to 4:00..  

A big hug and thanks to all of our volunteers.


John Diebolt

A Friend of Misery



Added 2 May 2016

Hi Folks. This missive updating our volunteers is coming at you on a clear frosty (-14 C) morning with 14 inches of snow on the ground. This morning I was out early feeding the migrating birds that are on hold- we have over 200 birds at our feeders that were looking for snacks- fox sparrows, goldfinches, robins, siskins, tree sparrows, redpolls, song sparrows and others. I thought of sitting out there and having breakfast with them-but really  -14 in April.

I am glad to report that volunteerism is alive and well on Manitoulin.  Last Sunday- April 3,  on a cold and blistery day- the folks from Manitoulin Tree Service- Maria and Mike(whom I know quite well- and I will admit- I slightly coerced into helping me) cleared out a spot for the gazebo at the Misery Bay sand beach. (it will be part of our handicap trail system). I have attached photos showing them in action and the location. You will note, that we only had to remove shrubs like alders and the only larger trees we removed were dead already. The new gazebo will tuck quite nicely into the existing landscape. This was a requirement of the Ontario Parks people involved (Will and Ryan), and our( FOMB’s) wish also.

Once again- kudos to Ontario parks for being part of this venture, and helping us to make it happen.

The gazebo will be just to the right of the existing trail leading onto the beach and will have a separate, short path to it, so we do not interfere with the existing trail and view that now exist,  accessing that area. At the same time- while accessing this site- we removed several large blowdowns on our trail system to help out our stalwart trailmasters- Lynda Olsen and Mike Ewert.

In the same venue, in response to my request for assistance- I have been contacted by two people offering to supply and cut the cedar poles that we require for our trail system. They have the required type of cedar on their property and will donate it to us(and more importantly- help me cut it). I am hoping to have this happen in the next few weeks.

Will keep you posted.

John Diebolt

A Friend of Misery and Special Projects Co-ordinator

Added 2 May 2016

Hi Folks: Just a quick update to let you know that our projects are moving nicely along.

Last Saturday four of us spent the day cutting cedar poles for our handicap trail on the properties of David Kains and John Oswald- both in Sandfield Township

I have attached a photo, with three good looking guys in it (which would be why I am not in it) Two of them rigged out in the appropriate chain saw cutting apparel are John Oswald and Dave Kains- the other of course is our very own member of the Special Projects Team for FOMB- Ted Kilpatrick. You will note the pile of cedar poles on the trailer.

Both of these landowners have the same opinion on landownership as we at FOMB do- we are not owners, but stewarts of the land- and it is our obligation to leave the land as a better place when we have passed on- so to be allowed to cut trees on their property was a singular honour. When I sent an email out for volunteers to provide cedar poles for our trail- they both contacted me and offered to not only let us have some poles- they would also help us cut them. Kudos to both and also to Ted for providing the means to get the poles to Misery Bay. The poles are now at Misery awaiting us. They will be used along the trail to hold the crushed limestone in place along the trails.  (I will confess that I did entice these fine folks with visions of a gourmet luncheon complimented by the appropriate beverage, prepared by Rose. Any stories you hear about hastily prepared bologna sandwiches with day old coffee- are simply not true)  

Thank goodness for volunteers


It is a very simple fact that on our Grand Island, very little gets done that does not have volunteers doing the doing. Last week both Island papers did articles on special volunteers on Manitoulin. Front and centre was a picture and story of our very own FOMB board member- Cora Hayden. I knew that this was one very busy and organized lady, but did not realize just how busy Cora is; Burpee Mills Recreation Committee,  Manitoulin Health Centres Resource Committee, and the FOMB board. If one looks behind any organization- you will find a lot of people just like Cora- quietly sending out emails, phoning people and prepping a breakfast for over 300 people. A big hug to Cora(and her husband Art who also volunteers on the recreation committee).

I am anticipating a start on our handicap access trail towards the end of next week. The access trail has three components to it- the gazebo on the beach at Misery, the boardwalk to cross the vernal pool along the trail and then finally the trail upgrades. I have several volunteers, who made the mistake of calling me, lined up to help with this.

Phase One of our Exhibits project at the Centre is moving along nicely. I spoke with the Science North folks today and by next week our Special Projects group (Ted, myself, Ryan Gardner and Will Kershaw) will be looking at the final cut of the material Science North has prepped for our exhibits. Once these are approved, all that remains is an on site visit by Science North photographers to take pictures of some of the features at Misery that we either do not have photos of, or the ones we have aren`t good enough. This will take place when the flowers and plants are at their best- likely towards the end of May.  After that- it`s back to the technicians for final formatting.

A meeting to discuss Phase 2 is already in the works.

I will keep you posted.


John Diebolt

Special Projects Co-ordinator   Volunteer Organizer   Friends of Misery Bay


Added 30 November 2015


It’s an amazing thing to be working with and associated with a group of volunteers like the Friends of Misery Bay. When one meets and talks with our wonderful volunteers- you realize how many different abilities and talents that they bring to our organizations- talents and abilities that a lot of times remain hidden until a request is made for assistance or help for Misery....

Read More by downloading the PDF or the Word file below

PDF - donation.pdf

Word (.docx) - donation.docx

SPECIAL Projects Added 4 November 2015

The Friends of Misery Bay (FOMB) and Ontario Parks have three major projects ongoing at Misery Bay Provincial Park. The completion of the exhibits at the Visitor Centre, the completion of the Universal Access Trail to Misery Bay and the upgrading of the Visitor Centre parking lot and access.

Download/view the complete information HERE...

PDF - Special Projects.pdf

Word (.docx) - Special Projects.docx


 Trails are open all year. Use them at your own risk. The Visitors Centre building facilities are open during the summer months at the hours shown below.

In 2019  the Friends Of Misery Bay vounteers operate the Visitors Centre on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays from Victoria Day weekend through Thanksgiving ,  usually between the hours of 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, and daily during July and August.


Contact Us

400 Misery Bay Park Road
PO Box 114
Gore Bay, ON P0P 1H0

email address:
(remove the AT & insert the proper @ symbol)

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